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Photo: Pixabay
29.06.2021

A sustainable Circular Economy: Polypropylene Recycling from Carpet Waste

A significant part of carpet waste consists of petroleum-based polypropylene. As a non-recyclable product, disposing of it has previously meant incineration or landfill. However, a new solvent is now making it possible to recover virgin-standard polypropylene from carpet waste — with no perceptible reduction in quality. Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP and its partners, the process also involves costs that are quite competitive. The development has taken place as part of the ISOPREP EU project.

The EU alone produces around 1.6 million tons of carpet waste every year. The majority of this ends up being sent to landfill or incinerated, as carpet is a composite material that is not suitable for purely mechanical recycling methods. With carpet waste analysed in the project consisting of around a quarter polypropylene, a petroleum-based plastic, the result is a great deal of resources going to waste.

A significant part of carpet waste consists of petroleum-based polypropylene. As a non-recyclable product, disposing of it has previously meant incineration or landfill. However, a new solvent is now making it possible to recover virgin-standard polypropylene from carpet waste — with no perceptible reduction in quality. Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP and its partners, the process also involves costs that are quite competitive. The development has taken place as part of the ISOPREP EU project.

The EU alone produces around 1.6 million tons of carpet waste every year. The majority of this ends up being sent to landfill or incinerated, as carpet is a composite material that is not suitable for purely mechanical recycling methods. With carpet waste analysed in the project consisting of around a quarter polypropylene, a petroleum-based plastic, the result is a great deal of resources going to waste.

Carpet recycling now possible thanks to a new process
A team of researchers, including from Fraunhofer IBP, has now developed a new recycling process as part of an EU project named ISOPREP (see logo). “For the first time, this is making it possible to recover polypropylene from carpet waste — and the outcome is virgin-quality,” says Maike Illner, a researcher at Fraunhofer IBP. Not only does this allow the recovered polypropylene to be used in lower-quality products (in a process known as downcycling), but it also means that the quality is similar to that of newly manufactured polypropylene, making the material suitable for high-quality products too.

The process is based on a special solvent in the form of an ionic liquid. With the right components, it is able to selectively extract polypropylene from carpet fibers. Before the team of experts applies the solvent, the carpet waste is cleaned — something which involves removing as much of the backing as possible — and broken down. Once the pretreatment is complete, the waste is fed into a reactor in which it undergoes treatment using the solvent. The polypropylene is selectively dissolved in the solvent, a method that provides an effective way of removing dyes and other additives. The process is already being used on an extensive laboratory scale involving several liters of the solvent — and now, the research consortium has set its sights on scaling the process up to a pilot plant with the ability to recycle a ton of carpet waste per day. The pilot plant is set to commence operation by the end of the project in March 2022.

Costs and environmental impact
A recycling process can only be deployed on a large scale if its costs are competitive. For this application, this means retaining as much of the expensive ionic liquid as possible in the cycle. “If loss rates can be kept to one percent or less, there is potential for the costs of the process to rival those of producing new polypropylene,” explains Illner. “We know this thanks to a preliminary economic analysis that we conducted at Fraunhofer IBP.” The analysis involved the Fraunhofer researchers investigating the quantities of material and energy that would be required for the process and what kind of product would be output, and then calculating the associated costs. The team also considered how the costs would develop over the long term.

Fraunhofer IBP is focusing on the ecological aspects of carpet recycling. It is able to draw conclusions from factors including a lifecycle assessment, which sheds light on the emissions that are produced during the recycling process, for example. If the consortium is able to achieve its aim of keeping solvent loss rates to one percent or less in this case too, primary energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions will remain on a similar scale to those involved in producing new polypropylene.

Potential for transfer to other polypropylene waste streams
While carpet waste is the focus of this particular project, the process that has been developed has potential applications far beyond it. The experts involved believe that it could be transferred to a whole host of waste flows that contain polypropylene and are unsuitable for conventional recycling methods. “One example is polypropylene products that contain dyes and additives,” says Illner. “Until now, it has been difficult to extract them from plastic, which means that the recycled polypropylene has only been suitable for use in lower-quality products.” The new process separates the polypropylene not only from other materials, but also from dyes and other additives, allowing it to be used in high-quality applications.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 820787.

(c) Fraunhofer IAP
08.06.2021

Fraunhofer IAP: Recyclable, Fiber-reinforced Material made from Bio-based Polylactic Acid

"Packaging made from bio-based plastics has long been established. We are now supporting the further development of these materials for new areas of application. If in the future the market also offers plant-based materials for technically demanding tasks such as vehicle construction, the bioeconomy will take a decisive step forward," explained Uwe Feiler, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in Potsdam. The occasion was the handover of a grant to the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP. The Fraunhofer IAP wants to develop a composite material that consists entirely of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) and is significantly easier to recycle than conventional fiber composites.

"Packaging made from bio-based plastics has long been established. We are now supporting the further development of these materials for new areas of application. If in the future the market also offers plant-based materials for technically demanding tasks such as vehicle construction, the bioeconomy will take a decisive step forward," explained Uwe Feiler, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in Potsdam. The occasion was the handover of a grant to the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP. The Fraunhofer IAP wants to develop a composite material that consists entirely of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) and is significantly easier to recycle than conventional fiber composites.

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is intensively promoting the development of biomaterials as part of its Renewable Resources funding program. More than 100 projects are currently underway, covering a wide range of topics: from plastics that are degradable in the sea to natural fiber-reinforced lightweight components for the automotive sector. The projects are supported by the Agency for Renewable Resources, the BMEL project management agency responsible for the Renewable Resources funding program.

Easier recycling of fiber-reinforced plastics
PLA is one of the particularly promising bio-based materials. The global market for this polymer is growing by around 10 percent a year. PLA is also used, among other things, as a matrix in fiber-reinforced plastics. In these mechanically resilient plastics, reinforcing fibers are embedded in a plastic matrix.

The Fraunhofer IAP project is now focusing on these reinforcing fibers: "We are further developing our PLA fibers in order to transfer them to industrial scale together with partners from industry. These fibers are ideally suited for reinforcing PLA plastics. The resulting self-reinforcing single-component composite promises great recycling benefits. Since the fiber and the matrix of PLA are chemically identical, complex separation steps are not necessary," explains Dr. André Lehmann, expert for fiber technology at Fraunhofer IAP.

Novel PLA fibers and films are more thermally stable
The challenge with this approach is that conventional PLA has a relatively low temperature resistance. Technical fibers can be produced most economically using the melt spinning process. The Fraunhofer IAP team is now using more thermally stable stereocomplex PLA (sc-PLA) for the fibers. The term stereocomplex refers to a special crystal structure that the PLA molecules can form. Sc-PLA fibers have a melting point that is 40 - 50 °C higher and can therefore withstand the incorporation process in a matrix made of conventional PLA. In the project, the researchers are developing and optimizing a melt spinning process for sc-PLA filament yarns. The partner in this work package is Trevira GmbH, a manufacturer of technical and textile fiber and filament yarn specialties that are in demand from automotive suppliers and contract furnishers, among others. Furthermore, the development of a manufacturing process for sc-PLA reinforced flat films is planned. The international adhesive tape manufacturer tesa SE is participating in this task, and will test the suitability of sc-PLA films as adhesive foils. In a third work package, the Fraunhofer IAP will finally process the filaments in a double pultrusion process to produce granules suitable for injection molding.

Bio-based solutions for the automotive and textile industries
The scientists led by Dr. André Lehmann are certain that the self-reinforced PLA material can conquer many new areas of application. The automotive and textile industries are already showing interest in bio-based materials that are also easier to recycle. In terms of price, PLA would already be competitive here, and now the material is also to be made technically fit for the new tasks.

Professor Alexander Böker, head of Fraunhofer IAP, says: "The steadily growing demand from industry for sustainable solutions underlines how important it is to develop biobased and at the same time high-performance materials. With our research, we are also actively driving the development of a sustainable and functioning circular economy and therefore very much welcome the support from the federal government."

Information on the project is available at fnr.de under the funding code 2220NR297X.

Photo: pixabay
25.05.2021

Water Saving Solution for Textile Industry EC Project Waste2Fresh

The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, with its long-term expertise in nanotoxicity and nanosafety testing, contributes to a new EC project for water saving solutions for textile industry. This industry uses a vast amount of water for different steps in the textile dyeing process. It also produces a lot of wastewater, which contains a range of chemicals and dyes.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, with its long-term expertise in nanotoxicity and nanosafety testing, contributes to a new EC project for water saving solutions for textile industry. This industry uses a vast amount of water for different steps in the textile dyeing process. It also produces a lot of wastewater, which contains a range of chemicals and dyes.

Breakthrough innovations are needed in energy intensive industries to recycle water and create closed loops in industrial processes. 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from textile manufacturing. To reduce the high amount of freshwater used in textile industry, the EC-funded Waste2Fresh project will develop a closed-loop process for textile manufacturing factories in which wastewater is collected, recycled and used again. Novel and innovative catalytic degradation approaches with highly selective separation and extraction techniques will be developed, based on nanotechnology. According to the European Commission, such “closed loops“ would significantly reduce the use of fresh water and improve water availability in the relevant EU water catchment areas, as outlined in the Water Framework Directive.

Closed loop recycling system for wastewater from textile manufacturers
Waste2Fresh meets the above challenges and industry needs by developing and demonstrating (to TRL 7) a closed loop recycling system for wastewater from textile manufacturing factories; to counteract freshwater resource scarcities and water pollution challenges exacerbated by energy intensive industries which are major users of fresh water (for e.g., processing, washing, heating, cooling).

The Waste2Fresh technology is developed to reduce current use of freshwater resources and considerably increases the recovery of water, energy and other resources (organics, salts and heavy metals). The result is a 30% increase in resource and water efficiency compared to the state-of-the-art. The system will ultimately lead to considerable environmental improvements and accordingly reduce the EC and global environmental footprint.

Fraunhofer IBMT expertise in human-toxicity and -safety testing
The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT will be primarily responsible for performing nanotoxicity and nanosafety testing during the whole technology process (from development to demonstration), ensuring that the developed system and processes meet relevant safety regulations. The Fraunhofer IBMT collaborates with all consortium partners developing and using to develop approaches for ensuring that the developed nanomaterial-based components meet relevant health and safety standards during their use.

For the hazard assessment of the developed nanomaterials, the Fraunhofer IBMT will perform a set of in vitro toxicity studies using commercially available human cell lines. The results of this toxicity studies will be the basis for the development of relevant safety procedures for handling and using the developed recycling technology.

 

Project funding: H2020-EU.2.1.5.3. - Sustainable, resource-efficient and low-carbon technologies in energy-intensive process industries

Duration: 12/2020- 11/2023

Coordinator:
KONYA TEKNIK UNIVERSITESI, Turkey

Project partners:
CENTRE FOR PROCESS INNOVATION LIMITED LBG, United Kingdom
ERAK GIYIM SANAYI VE TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI, Turkey
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V., Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik IBMT, Germany
INNOVATION IN RESEARCH & ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS, Belgium
INSTYTUT MOLEKULYARNOI BIOLOGII I GENETYKY NAN UKRAINY, Ukraine
L'UREDERRA, FUNDACION PARA EL DESARROLLO TECNOLOGICO Y SOCIAL, Spain
NANOFIQUE LIMITED, United Kingdom
NANOGENTECH LTD, United Kingdom
PCI MEMBRANES SPOLKA Z OGRANICZONA ODPOWIEDZIALNOSCIA, Poland
STIFTELSE CSDI WATERTECH, Norway
THE OPEN UNIVERSITY, United Kingdom
ULUDAG CEVRE TEKNOLOJILERI ARGE MERKEZI SANAYI VE TICARET LIMITED SIRKETI, Turkey
UNIVERSIDAD INDUSTRIAL DE SANTANDER, Colombia
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO, Italy
VEREALA GMBH, Switzerland
VSI SOCIALINES INOVACIJOS SVARESNEI APLINKAI, Lithiani

(c) Porsche AG
04.05.2021

Fraunhofer: Lightweight and Ecology in Automotive Construction

  • The “Bioconcept-Car” moves ahead

In automobile racing, lightweight bodies made from plastic and carbon fibers have been standard for many years because they enable drivers to reach the finish line more quickly. In the future, lightweight-construction solutions could help reduce the energy consumption and emissions of everyday vehicles. The catch is that the production of carbon fibers is not only expensive but also consumes considerable amounts of energy and petroleum. In collaboration with Porsche Motorsport and Four Motors, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have succeeded in replacing the carbon fibers in a car door with natural fibers. This is already being installed in small series at Porsche. The project team is now taking the next step: Together with HOBUM Oleochemicals, they want to maximize the proportion of renewable raw materials in the door and other body parts - using bio-based plastics and paints.

  • The “Bioconcept-Car” moves ahead

In automobile racing, lightweight bodies made from plastic and carbon fibers have been standard for many years because they enable drivers to reach the finish line more quickly. In the future, lightweight-construction solutions could help reduce the energy consumption and emissions of everyday vehicles. The catch is that the production of carbon fibers is not only expensive but also consumes considerable amounts of energy and petroleum. In collaboration with Porsche Motorsport and Four Motors, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have succeeded in replacing the carbon fibers in a car door with natural fibers. This is already being installed in small series at Porsche. The project team is now taking the next step: Together with HOBUM Oleochemicals, they want to maximize the proportion of renewable raw materials in the door and other body parts - using bio-based plastics and paints.

Carbon fibers reinforce plastics and therefore provide lightweight components with the necessary stability. Mass-produced natural fibers are not only more cost-effective but can also be produced in a considerably more sustainable manner. For the “Bioconcept-Car” pilot vehicle, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have developed body parts with 100 percent natural fibers as reinforcing components.

“We utilize natural fibers, such as those made from hemp, flax or jute. Whilst natural fibers exhibit lower stiffnesses and strengths compared to carbon fibers, the values achieved are nonetheless sufficient for many applications,” explained Ole Hansen, Project Manager at the Fraunhofer WKI. Due to their naturally grown structure, natural fibers dampen sound and vibrations more effectively. Their lesser tendency to splinter can help to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident. Furthermore, they do not cause skin irritation during processing.

The bio-based composites were successfully tested by the Four Motors racing team in the “Bioconcept-Car” on the racetrack under extreme conditions. Porsche has actually been using natural fiber-reinforced plastics in a small series of the Cayman GT4 Clubsport since 2019. During production, the researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI also conducted an initial ecological assessment based on material and energy data. “We were able to determine that the utilized natural-fiber fabric has a better environmental profile in its production, including the upstream chains, than the fabric made from carbon. Thermal recycling after the end of its service life should also be possible without any problems,” confirmed Ole Hansen.

In the next project phase of the "Bioconcept-Car", the researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration with the cooperation partners HOBUM Oleochemicals GmbH, Porsche Motorsport and Four Motors, will develop a vehicle door with a biogenic content of 85 percent in the overall composite consisting of fibers and resin. They intend to achieve this by, amongst other things, utilizing bio-based resin-hardener blends as well as bio-based paint systems. The practicality of the door - and possibly additional components - will again be tested by Four Motors on the racetrack. If the researchers are successful, it may be possible to transfer the acquired knowledge into series production at Porsche.

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is funding the “Bioconcept-Car” project via the project-management agency Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (FNR).

Background
Sustainability through the utilization of renewable raw materials has formed the focus at the Fraunhofer WKI for more than 70 years. The institute, with locations in Braunschweig, Hanover and Wolfsburg, specializes in process engineering, natural-fiber composites, surface technology, wood and emission protection, quality assurance of wood products, material and product testing, recycling procedures and the utilization of organic building materials and wood in construction. Virtually all the procedures and materials resulting from the research activities are applied industrially.

 

  • EU Project ALMA: Thinking Ahead to Electromobility

E-mobility and lightweight construction are two crucial building blocks of modern vehicle development to drive the energy transition. They are the focus of the ALMA project (Advanced Light Materials and Processes for the Eco-Design of Electric Vehicles). Nine European organizations are now working in the EU project to develop more energy-efficient and sustainable vehicles. Companies from research and industry are optimizing the efficiency and range of electric vehicles, among other things by reducing the weight of the overall vehicle. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM is providing support with mathematical simulation expertise.

According to the low emissions mobility strategy, the European Union aims to have at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2030. Measures to support jobs, growth, investment, and innovation are taken to tackle emissions from the transport sector. To make transport more climate-friendly, EU measures are being taken to promote jobs, investment and innovation. The European Commission's Horizon 2020 project ALMA represents one of these measures.

26.01.2021

DBU-Funding: From 3D Knitting Machines to Washing without Water

Environmental protection through digitalization - funding for start-ups

Clothing on-demand, a new type of textile cleaning and locally generated green electricity - these three business ideas of “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” (Krefeld), “Infinity Startup” (Aachen) and “prosumergy” (Kassel) convinced the Green Start-up Program’s jury of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). They will receive a total of around 370,000 euros in technical and financial support.

The DBU promotes company foundations and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability in an innovative way with a focus on digitalization.
General conditions for promotion:

Environmental protection through digitalization - funding for start-ups

Clothing on-demand, a new type of textile cleaning and locally generated green electricity - these three business ideas of “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” (Krefeld), “Infinity Startup” (Aachen) and “prosumergy” (Kassel) convinced the Green Start-up Program’s jury of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). They will receive a total of around 370,000 euros in technical and financial support.

The DBU promotes company foundations and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability in an innovative way with a focus on digitalization.
General conditions for promotion:

  • in the founding phase as well as start-ups up to 5 years old
  • up to 125,000€ per project
  • up to 24 months duration

A cloud service for retail
The “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” wants to change the clothing industry sustainably. The founders are developing a cloud service that is directly linked to retail. Customers of the " “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” can order individualized garments in which size, color and design are adapted to their wishes. The order data is then transferred using the cloud, an online storage medium. They can be retrieved at any place in the world.

First order - then produce
If a customer orders a hat, for example, the order is automatically transmitted to 3D knitting machines. Then production begins, followed by shipment of the goods. The “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” produces knitwear on demand completely automatically with robots and a 3D knitting machine.

In this way, sales can be planned for retailers and not too much clothing is produced. Additionally: The products are manufactured close to the customer in Germany. Long transport routes and times are eliminated.

Washing without washing machine
The “RefresherBoxx” of the “Infinity Startup” is basically a mobile textile cleaner that does not require water or detergent. “Using a combination of different physical methods, it disinfects, dries and refreshes all kinds of textiles - especially those that can't be put in the washing machine, like leather, velvet and silk,” explains founder Stefan Chang. The “RefresherBoxx” is gentler, more environmentally friendly and only takes 30 minutes for one washing phase. According to Chang, the mobile textile cleaning system can be used in the medical sector, but also in the private and leisure sector.

Local power for commerce and e-mobility
The start-up "prosumergy" offers building owners and tenants a low-cost power supply from renewable energies that are mainly generated locally. "With the help of the DBU, we want to further develop our energy supply approach. By means of standardization and digitization, we want to develop concepts for the decentralized power supply of commercial properties and charging solutions for e-mobility," says founder Lena Cielejewski.

25 founding teams already funded
The three founding teams will now be funded for two years in the DBU's Green Start-up program. "They bring together solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability with a focus on digitalization in an innovative way," said DBU Start-up coordinator Dr. Stefanie Grade. 22 other companies have already convinced the selection committee of themselves since the program was launched.

Contact details
Digitale Strickmanufaktur PoC GmbH (Krefeld)
Connecting textile trade and automated textile production with the help of cloud services
Contact Mr. Christian Zarbl
URL: digitale-strickmanufaktur.de

Infinity StartUp GmbH (Aachen)
Development, production and distribution of cleaning equipment for textiles, especially using physical methods, as well as development of related applications.
Contact Mr. Stefan Chang
URL: refresherboxx.com

prosumergy GmbH (Kassel)
prosumergy GmbH realizes decentralized energy supply projects as project developer and energy supplier
Contact Christopher Neumann
URL: prosumergy.de

Emma4Drive (c) Fraunhofer ITWM
03.11.2020

EMMA4Drive - Dynamic human model for more safety and comfort in autonomous vehicles

  • DFG and Fraunhofer support trilateral project on autonomous driving

For many employees, it is an inviting vision of the future: to drive to work in their own car and still make good use of the travel time: Reading news, checking e-mails or relaxing and enjoying the first coffee of the day. In the future, passengers of autonomous vehicles will be able to pursue new activities. However, this will require new (software) tools to understand customers’ expectations, strengthen trust and demonstrate safety. With the EMMA4Drive project, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are funding the development of a dynamic human model for the development of (partially) autonomously driving vehicles.

  • DFG and Fraunhofer support trilateral project on autonomous driving

For many employees, it is an inviting vision of the future: to drive to work in their own car and still make good use of the travel time: Reading news, checking e-mails or relaxing and enjoying the first coffee of the day. In the future, passengers of autonomous vehicles will be able to pursue new activities. However, this will require new (software) tools to understand customers’ expectations, strengthen trust and demonstrate safety. With the EMMA4Drive project, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are funding the development of a dynamic human model for the development of (partially) autonomously driving vehicles.

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM and the company fleXstructures are developing a muscle-activated human model together with scientists from the Institute for Engineering and Computational Mechanics (ITM) at the University of Stuttgart.

This model dynamically simulates the interaction of human body parts and the vehicle seat during driving maneuvers. The resulting software prototype, EMMA4Drive, will be used as a digital image of the passenger and will analyze and evaluate his safety and ergonomics during driving maneuvers.

Realistic movements instead of quasi-static investigations
So far, human models have been used either in crash simulations to estimate the risk of injury or in ergonomic analyses. In crash analyses, detailed, computationally intensive models are used for calculations in the millisecond range, which are not suitable for the simulation of dynamic driving maneuvers, because here longer processes have to be simulated. In contrast, human models for ergonomics analysis are based on the simplified kinematics of a multi-body model and so far, only allow quasi-static investigations. Realistic postures and movements during new activities can only be modeled with a lot of effort using these models.

"The by us developed prototypical human model EMMA uses an optimization algorithm to automatically calculate new postures and movement sequences with the associated muscle activities," explains Dr. Joachim Linn, head of the department "Mathematics for the Digital Factory" at the Fraunhofer ITWM, the special feature of EMMA. "This means that the new motion sequences for (partially) autonomous driving can be implemented and examined comparatively easily in the simulation model - for example when the driver takes over the steering wheel."

EMMA4Drive thus enables a comparatively simple implementation of new movement patterns and an efficient virtual examination of safety, comfort and ergonomics in (partially) autonomous driving. "Our goal is to have a further developed prototype of our digital human model EMMA available at the end of the project, which we can use to investigate and improve seating and operating concepts when driving semi-autonomous or fully autonomous vehicles," Joachim Linn explains.

DFG and Fraunhofer support six trilateral projects with EUR 5 million
In the trilateral project EMMA4Drive, the University of Stuttgart contributes extensive experience in the fields of active human modeling, vehicle safety and model reduction. The Fraunhofer ITWM contributes expertise in multibody-based human modeling and motion optimization by means of optimal control. The company fleXstructures develops, distributes and maintains the software family IPS including the digital human model IPS IMMA, which simulates motion sequences during assembly work.

"EMMA4Drive - Dynamic human model for autonomous driving" is one of six projects funded by the DFG and Fraunhofer. The aim of the EUR five million funding is to involve companies in research innovations at an early stage. Three project partners each from universities, Fraunhofer Institutes and industry are cooperating on the basis of a joint working program. The Fraunhofer experts take the lead in the exploitation of the project results for the application partners or other interested parties from industry.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM

pixabay: stock exchange2 (c) pixabay
27.10.2020

Medium-sized Businesses: High debt, declining Profits and Financing Gap due to Covid-19

  • After the corona shock, European SMEs are showing very high levels of debt, a considerable deterioration in profitability in some cases, and insufficient capitalization
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is particularly affecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France and Italy
  • Compared to its European counterparts, German SMEs have come through the crisis relatively well so far
  • Already before the crisis 20% "zombies" among Italian SMEs, in France 11%, Germany 10%  

In France and Italy in particular, the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a toll on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): they are currently lacking financial resources totaling an estimated EUR 100 billion - despite the extensive economic stimulus packages and after the exclusion of so-called "zombie" companies.

  • After the corona shock, European SMEs are showing very high levels of debt, a considerable deterioration in profitability in some cases, and insufficient capitalization
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is particularly affecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France and Italy
  • Compared to its European counterparts, German SMEs have come through the crisis relatively well so far
  • Already before the crisis 20% "zombies" among Italian SMEs, in France 11%, Germany 10%  

In France and Italy in particular, the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a toll on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): they are currently lacking financial resources totaling an estimated EUR 100 billion - despite the extensive economic stimulus packages and after the exclusion of so-called "zombie" companies. In Germany too, SMEs lacking around EUR three billion of financial resources for a sufficient recapitalization. In view of the lack of EUR 70 billion in Italy and around EUR 29 billion in France, however, the local SMEs are in a much better position. This is the conclusion of a recent analysis by the world's leading credit insurer Euler Hermes.

"European SMEs have a very high level of debt, significantly deteriorated profitability and insufficient capitalization," Ron van het Hof, CEO of Euler Hermes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland says. "In the medium term, this is a very bad combination for the solvency of these companies. In Italy and France in particular, Covid-19 is making the situation increasingly acute, even if the numerous economic stimulus packages have at least avoided a short-term liquidity crisis. German SMEs have once again proven to be relatively robust and have so far come through the crisis relatively well compared to their European counterparts."

In this country too, debt has increased as a result of numerous liquidity measures. In France in particular, however, it is almost twice as high in relation to gross domestic product (81% of GDP) as in Germany (43% of GDP). In Italy, the debt of 65% of GDP is above average also in a European comparison (average: 63%).

In terms of profitability, French SMEs are at the bottom of the European league
"French small and medium-sized companies are now at the bottom of the European league in terms of profitability, even behind Italy," Ana Boata, Head of Macroeconomics at Euler Hermes says. "The profitability of French SMEs has fallen dramatically by 7 percentage points (pp) since the beginning of the year compared to -0.6 pp in Germany. In Italy, we estimate that profitability has also fallen by up to 3pp[1]. With 33%, the equity ratio in Italy is the lowest and thus well below the 40% that is generally considered as being adequate. Accordingly, Italy is the country where the greatest need for additional funding for recapitalization exists."

In France, the equity ratio of SMEs is 37%, while in Germany, at 39%, only slightly below the recommended capital adequacy level. In their analysis, the economists have already deducted such companies that were already practically unviable before the Covid 19 pandemic.

"A majority of medium-sized companies are proving to be very robust even in the current crisis, especially in Germany, Van het Hof says. "This fact, however, must not hide the fact that there are numerous zombie companies in their shadow in Europe - even before the Covid-19 pandemic. In Italy, for example, even before the crisis, around one-fifth of the SMEs were no longer economically viable, while in France (11%) and Germany (10%) only about half as many were known. However, this number is likely to have increased dramatically with the current crisis, as have the financing requirements of SMEs. The situation will be particularly tight for companies and sectors that had little buffer before the crisis."

In Germany, the equity ratio before the pandemic was particularly low in the transportation industry: in shipping it was around 32%, in aviation 29%. With Covid-19 the existing financing gap has widened again. In France and Italy, companies in the hotel and restaurant industry as well as in mechanical engineering and trade had particularly bad starting positions and therefore have the greatest need for capital now.

The complete study can be found here: https://ots.de/lYcKea 

[1] Figures are currently available for Germany and France until H1 2020, in Italy only for Q1 2020. The decline in profitability of up to 3pp in Italy is an expert estimate.

Euler Hermes is the world leader in credit insurance and a recognized specialist in bonding and guarantees, debt collection and protection against fraud or political risks. Every day, Euler Hermes monitors and analyzes the insolvency of more than 80 million small, medium and multinational companies through its proprietary monitoring system. Overall, the expert analyses cover markets that account for 92% of the global gross domestic product (GDP).


Please read the attached document for notes regarding forward-looking statements.

Source:

Euler Hermes Deutschland

Photo: Wilhelm-Lorch-Foundation.
11.08.2020

Wilhelm Lorch Foundation: Demand and Support - Qualifying young and up-and-coming Talents

  • Interview with Klaus Kottmeier, Elke Giese, Markus Gotta, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe

In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag announced the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation to the textile and garment industry. Its purpose is to promote vocational training, including student assistance as well as science and research.

Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deut-scher Fachverlag. Today, the Foundation has assets of approx. 2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2019). Since 1988, the foundation has awarded sponsorship prizes of around EUR 1,933,564 (as of June 2020) to date, in order to fund the initial and further training of young people from all areas of the textile industry, with a particular focus on young and up-and-coming talents.

  • Interview with Klaus Kottmeier, Elke Giese, Markus Gotta, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe

In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag announced the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation to the textile and garment industry. Its purpose is to promote vocational training, including student assistance as well as science and research.

Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deut-scher Fachverlag. Today, the Foundation has assets of approx. 2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2019). Since 1988, the foundation has awarded sponsorship prizes of around EUR 1,933,564 (as of June 2020) to date, in order to fund the initial and further training of young people from all areas of the textile industry, with a particular focus on young and up-and-coming talents.

Textination talked to the former chairman of the supervisory board of Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, the current member of the executive board and founding member of the foundation, Klaus Kottmeier, as well as three members of the board of trustees: Mrs. Elke Giese - trend analyst and fashion journalist, Markus Gotta, managing director of Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe, who will take over the chairmanship of the foundation board on September 1, 2020, about the challenging task of continuing successfully the foundation's work in an environment characterized by the pandemic.

The figure 3 seems to play a very special role for the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation (WLS). In 1988 announced on the occasion of the 30th Forum of the TextilWirtschaft, it was endowed with assets of DM 300,000. 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the award of the sponsorship prizes. If you had to introduce the WLS in 100 words to someone who does not know the foundation: Which 3 aspects have particularly influenced its development and made it unique?

Klaus Kottmeier: In more than 30 years the WLS has been in existence, the foundation has received great support all over the sector from the very beginning. This continues to this day and is not only reflected in the financial support provided by generous grants, but above all in an active commitment of many sector leaders on the foundation board and board of trustees. A second aspect is the unique range in the topics of the support, which extends across design, business and technology, covering young talents in retail as well as university graduates, but also involving educational institutions themselves. And thirdly, the motivation of so many applicants we experience every year, who prepare their applications with incredible diligence and thus impressively demonstrate their willingness to perform.

 

The name of the foundation is a tribute to Wilhelm Lorch, the publisher and founder of the trade journal Textil-Wirtschaft and thus of Deutscher Fachverlag, who died in 1966. Which of his characteristics and traits do you still see as exemplary for the next generation in our industry today?

Klaus Kottmeier: We are a publishing media house where professional journalism based on sound research always forms the basis. This is associated with classic values such as entrepreneurial courage and will, diligence and discipline, but also a sense of responsibility and team spirit, which were exemplified by our founder and which still form the culture of our company today. These all are qualities young people should take to heart and which, coupled with a passion for their profession, encourage them to continue on their path.

 

According to its statutes, the primary purpose of the foundation is the awarding of "... awards and prizes to graduates of continuation schools of the German retail textile trade, textile-technical training institutes and [...] for final degree or doctoral theses from universities, as far as these deal with textile topics.” How nationally and internationally does the WLS work?

Prof. Maike Rabe: The prizes are mainly awarded to graduates and applicants from Germany and German-speaking countries, but there are also always talents from Europe, who have close ties to the German market.

Markus Gotta: The focus is clearly on the core market of Germany or Germany-Austria-Switzerland respectively, which we cover with the TW - accordingly, we do not advertise internationally, but there is no exclusion for foreign applicants, the only requirement is that the submitted works and reports must be written in German or English.

 

Over the past 31 years in which the foundation has been awarding prizes to people, projects and works, you have met many young talents who have moved our industry or will certainly do so. Are there any unusual stories or special award winners that have remained in your memory? And how do you assess the development of the applicants' educational level over the years?

Elke Giese: The applicants come from very different schools and universities, differing significantly in their profiles and focus. The demands on teaching have grown enormously, especially as a result of increasing digitization. Since the job profiles in the fashion business are also constantly changing and will continue to be subject to major changes in the future, the challenges for schools and students remain very high.
From each year, particularly talented and creative personalities remain in one's memory. To name one, Elisa Paulina Herrmann from Pforzheim, who was twice among the prize winners in 2017 and 2019 with her bachelor's and then master's thesis. Her ability and originality were overwhelming for the board of trustees. She now creates exclusive knitwear collections for Gucci. Among the young men is Niels Holger Wien, who received WLS funding in 1995. He has been the specialist for color trends and zeitgeist of the German Fashion Institute for many years and is currently president of the world's most important color committee INTERCOLOR.

Klaus Kottmeier: There are many award winners who have subsequently made a great career, to name just one example, Dr. Oliver Pabst, current CEO of Mammut Sports Group AG and WLS award winner in 1994.

 

Due to its proximity to TextilWirtschaft, the foundation is primarily associated with fashion design and topics related to clothing production or marketing. In 2020 you have put Smart Textiles in the virtual spotlight with two project sponsorships. How do you see future topics in the field of technical textiles? Can you imagine creating a new focus on that field?

Prof. Maike Rabe: First of all, the WLS supports talented young people who, thanks to their training, can take up a career in the entire textile and clothing industry. Of course, this also includes the field of technical textiles, which is of great importance in terms of production in Germany being a technological leader. Here the boundaries to clothing are fluid, just think of outdoor or sports equipment.    „    

Klaus Kottmeier: Our excellently staffed board of trustees is open to all innovative topics in the industry. Innovations in the field of technical textiles in particular are important topics for the future. In 2017, for example, the sponsorship award went to the Anna-Siemsen-School, a vocational school for textile technology and clothing in Hanover, through which we supported the procurement of a pattern design software.

 

The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation has set itself the goal of supporting qualified young people in the textile and fashion industry. However, you preclude the support for business start-ups. In times, in which start-ups receive increasing attention not only through corresponding TV formats but also through industry associations, there must be reasons for this. What are they and how do you assess future prospects?

Klaus Kottmeier: Support for business start-ups is precluded by §2 of our statutes, which defines the purpose of the foundation. The WLS is exclusively dedicated to the charitable purpose. Support for start-ups and business start-ups would contradict this. We therefore concentrate fully on the further education of young professionals in the sector and the promotion of educational institutions, from which the entire sector benefits.

Prof. Maike Rabe: WLS funding is aimed at further developing the skills of graduates and young talents from the sector. They should receive specific further training, possibly reach a further academic degree, and also learn in an interdisciplinary manner. All of this benefits the sector as a whole and this is our strict objective.


          
The foundation also promotes the training and further education of young and up-and-coming talents who are already working in the textile retail trade. Grants are available to cover course or study fees for further qualification. The closure of shops caused by the lockdown  during the pandemic hit the stationary retail trade hard, and even today we are still miles away from regular business operations. Against this background, how do you see focused funding opportunities for further training in the e-commerce sector?

Markus Gotta: The topics of stationary retail and e-commerce can't really be separated, both have long since become part of the basic requirements in fashion sales and thus also of the topics of training and further education in general.
 
Prof. Maike Rabe: E-commerce has become an integral part of our industry and is naturally reflected in many grants and subsidies. The junior staff members are allowed to make their own suggestions as to where and how they would like to train. We support this. But we would also like to strengthen the connection between stationary and digital trade in particular. Our prize winners have come up with wonderful concepts for both sales channels, and of course they can be combined.

 

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which decisions in your foundation work are you particularly happy to have made?

Markus Gotta: That we implemented the Summer School project last year. We broke new ground with the foundation, and this - in cooperation with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences - was very successful.

Elke Giese: Especially in the field of design and creation, it is important to recognize an applicant's future creative potential from the work at hand and the information provided by the applicant. I am therefore always particularly pleased when the board of trustees makes courageous and progressive decisions.    

 

The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation offers project funding of € 10,000 to universities and educational institutions. They do not make any thematic restrictions here, but simply demand that there must be a clear reference to the sustainable further training of young up-and-coming talents in the textile and fashion industry. According to which criteria do you finally decide which project will be funded?

Elke Giese: One criterion is the relevance for future developments in the textile and fashion industry. Projects in recent years have enabled schools and educational institutions to train on laser cutters and 3D printers, for example, but also to purchase modern knitting machines or software programs.

Prof. Maike Rabe: All the projects submitted are evaluated very strictly by the jury's experts using a points-based system. This results in a shortlist which is presented to the board of trustees and intensively discussed by them. In this way, we ensure that all submitted applications are honored and that we then award the Wilhelm Lorch Prize to the outstanding project submissions in a joint consensus. The most important criteria are sustainable teaching of innovative learning content, practical training and the feasibility of the submitted project.

 

There are many different definitions of sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the exclusion of child labor etc. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for WLS, and what are you doing to promote sustainable thinking and acting, not only among young professionals?

Prof. Maike Rabe: At the foundation, we base our definition of "sustainability" on the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, the so-called Brundtland Commission: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The textile and clothing sector plays a pioneering role as a globally enormously connected industry with complex supply chains, which should definitely also play a model role. We therefore make it a priority for all award winners to observe these criteria and at the same time try to provide a platform for people who, through their work and actions, offer suggestions for improvement or even already implement improvements.

 

Virtual instead of red carpet: Usually the awards are presented in the festive setting of the TextilWirtschaft Forum. In 2020, due to the Covid-19, there was only a digital version in the form of a short film. How important do you consider networking opportunities that arise from meeting influential personalities face-to-face? Or has such a format become obsolete in the age of video conferencing?

Prof. Maike Rabe: It is certainly remarkable what digital event formats can achieve. But one thing doesn't work: spontaneity, personal contact and closeness. Therefor it is a real pity that the Forum had to be cancelled this year due to corona. Especially for career starters, the chance for direct networking is of great value.

Markus Gotta: The need for personal exchange and meetings will continue to be of great importance and demand in the future. And I can say at this point: We are already working on the plans for the TW Forum 2021 as a live and meeting event with the top decision-makers in the sector.

 

In which socially relevant areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next five years? What is your assessment that funding - for example from the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation - can provide targeted support for solutions? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?

Prof. Maike Rabe: We don't think in five-year periods, today's world requires much greater agility - this applies to the Foundation as well as to the entire industry. With each award we re-orientate ourselves towards current topics. Topics such as aesthetics, function and innovation will certainly continue to play a major role, as will quality instead of quantity, eco-social justice and customer loyalty. It is also important, however, that our economy, which is strongly supported by medium-sized companies, is clearly perceived by the public and in politics; we still have to work on that.

Klaus Kottmeier: I gladly agree with Prof. Rabe's closing statement. Agility is also of great importance in a media company like ours. We live in a constant transformation process with constant changes that have to be faced. The corona pandemic has shown us very impressively how quickly original plans can become waste. Today, and more than ever before in the future, a constant willingness to change is required, and this applies not only to us but also to our hopeful young employees.
 

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius,
CEO Textination GmbH

Compostable agricultural textiles with adjustable service life Foto: Pixabay
30.06.2020

Compostable agricultural textiles with adjustable service life

In the "AgriTex" innovation project, WESOM Textil GmbH, together with the Fiber Institute Bremen e.V. and the Institute for Polymer and Production Technologies e.V., has set itself the goal of developing a compostable technical textile that is to be used in agriculture, among other things. The project is funded over three years by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) and has a funding volume of around 570,000 Euros. A corresponding application was approved by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in April 2020.

In the "AgriTex" innovation project, WESOM Textil GmbH, together with the Fiber Institute Bremen e.V. and the Institute for Polymer and Production Technologies e.V., has set itself the goal of developing a compostable technical textile that is to be used in agriculture, among other things. The project is funded over three years by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) and has a funding volume of around 570,000 Euros. A corresponding application was approved by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in April 2020.

Plastics have become an integral part of our everyday lives and are used in a wide variety of areas. At the same time, pollution from plastic waste is one of the greatest global problems of our time. There are already various options for the sensible and environmentally friendly disposal of plastics, e.g. recycling or thermal recovery. However, it cannot always be guaranteed that the waste is also disposed of in the corresponding disposal routes. For example, in agriculture, even if used properly, a release cannot always be prevented or a return is not possible depending on the application. Biodegradable plastics can help to solve this problem, but many of today's products only rot very slowly, as otherwise the required stability and robustness cannot be guaranteed.
     
The aim of the "AgriTex" project partners is to develop an innovative, biodegradable textile for applications in agriculture. On the one hand, the textile withstands the highest mechanical and weather-related requirements during use, on the other hand it rots quickly after a predefined period of use under natural conditions in the environment or on the compost. This two-phase behavior is made possible by a new type of bicomponent fiber made from the biodegradable plastic PLA. The new technology is to be developed and tested using a hail protection net for fruit growing. Hail protection nets are exposed to considerable loads from various weather conditions and usually have to be replaced after a few seasons. Proper disposal of the old nets represents a considerable cost factor for agricultural businesses. With "AgriTex" the nets can be composted with other biological waste in a cost-neutral manner. In addition, unintentionally released netting components from the structure remain, e.g. by storms or damage caused by game, no longer in the long term in the environment and the pollution of ecosystems by plastic waste is effectively prevented. The ecological and economic advantages of the new technology are not only in demand in fruit growing, but will also be of interest for many other applications in agriculture, landscaping or fishing in the future.
 
The idea for the “AgriTex” project came about as part of the PREVON - Production Evolution Network innovation network, which is funded by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM). As part of the membership, the partners are actively supported in the implementation of R&D projects and in securing funding.

More information:
agricultural textiles AgriTex
Source:

IWS Innovations- und Wissensstrategien GmbH

(c) SANITIZED AG
16.06.2020

‘WHAT SMELLS LESS HAS TO BE WASHED LESS OFTEN’

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Founded in 1935, the majority ownership of the public company SANITIZED still lies with the founding families. You are the market leader in Europe in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What influenced you in particular in the development of the company and what made it unique?
Preventing odor in shoes, that's how it started in 1935. This is where our business model came from: the antimicrobial protection of plastics and textiles.
SANITIZED develops ready-to-use additives that are individually tailored to the protection goals of the end products and that work, for example, against the development of odors in work clothing, against permastink (resilient odors) in synthetic textiles or against mold growth.
The 360-degree service is unique: This includes backing in product development, support for all regulatory questions and assistance with marketing topics.
SANITIZED AG is globally active and yet committed to Swiss quality principles. More than 400 brands worldwide use the ingredient brand Sanitized® on their end products.

Think global – act local? You have sister companies in France, the United States and Asia. Your roots and headquarters are based in Switzerland. The pandemic is currently increasing the question of intact supply chains. What does this mean for your company in the future?
Indeed, the broad global positioning enables us to do business locally. The local anchoring results in synergies, also in sourcing. That will be even more important for us in the future. And, of course, the issues of speed and customer proximity are also positive aspects of this approach.

From textiles to plastic surfaces to cans: SANITIZED Preservation AG was founded in 2018 to take care of colors and coatings. SANITIZED is thus opening up another market. Which markets are you particularly interested in and which product areas do you feel particularly challenged by?
Customers want paints and varnishes without solvents, which is better for people and the environment. But with the alternative water-based products, there is a high risk of contamination by microbes. This starts with the production, continues with the storage in the can and also in the application. The result is mold formation.
Antimicrobial protection for paints or coatings is particularly relevant in hygiene-sensitive areas of industrial production and, of course, in the medical environment. The risk of contamination and mold multiplies in regions with high air humidity. This is another reason why India is a growth market for this business area.   

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect - about which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made it?
Let me mention just three decisions that are important for corporate development: This is definitely the foundation of the SANITIZED Preservation division. This is about the antimicrobial protection of paints and varnishes. This also includes setting up our in-house TecCenter, in which we can perform laboratory services even faster. It was recently accredited by the International Antimicrobial Council. And right now it is the sales cooperation with Consolidates Pathway on the US market for our textile hygiene function solutions.

You state that innovation is embedded in the company's DNA. How do you live your inno-vation management and which role do the requirements of end consumers and your indus-trial customers play in this setting?
We ourselves as well as our global sales partners are in close contact with the manufacturers of textile products. This is also why we know the requirements and needs of the market. Sustainability is emerging from the niche in the mass market.
This is exactly what our product Sanitized® Odoractiv 10 has been developed for and awarded by the Swiss Innovation Award.
It is a dual-acting, biocide-free, patented technology against odor development and odor adsorption in textiles. Many customers appreciate our expertise and use it in the development of new products to create innovative textiles with additional benefits for the requirements of the market.

Tailor-made or solutions only for major customers? The topic of individualization up to lot size 1 takes up a lot of space today. What do you think about individual product solutions - or can you cover everything with the SANITIZED portfolio comprising 40 products?
We have a very versatile technology “kit” at our disposal. It is part of our daily business to respond individually to the special customer needs and the respective product requirements. We offer tailor-made recipes for this and our extensive application know-how flows into the advice for the individual application situation at the customer.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the ex-clusion of child labor, etc. Textile finishing does not always sound unproblematic. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for SANITIZED and what do you do to bring the concept of sustainability to life for your company, and which activities and certifications do you focus on?
Resource conservation is a key issue for us. Since we “think” about the topic of sustainability along the entire production chain, including in research and development, resource-saving application techniques for the textile industry are important to us. Sanitized® additives can be integrated into standard production processes, so that additional energy is not required for complementary finishing processes.
Our portfolio also includes biocide-free products. Sanitized® Odoractiv10 prevents odors from sticking to textiles. Sanitized® Mintactiv uses the natural antibacterial effect of mint and was specially developed for cotton textiles.
And what smells less has to be washed less often. This saves water and electricity and extends the useful life of textiles.
          
SANITIZED supports its customers with a so-called 360° service. What do you mean by that and why don't you concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of the products?
The SANITIZED brand wants to create real added value for its customers. That is why we have expanded our core competence as a developer and provider of innovative antimicrobial additives with an all-round service. The obvious thing to do is to support the production process, of course that is part of it. Furthermore; we also provide the latest knowledge on regulatory issues - world-wide. And we offer comprehensive marketing assistance for our license partners who use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. Making correct advertising statements is important not only in times of Corona. Because it's always about transparency and security for people. Warning letters or delivery stops due to incorrect claims can be prevented.
Cooperation with the institutes is absolutely sensible; after all, it is their job to do research for com-panies that they cannot shoulder on their own. This includes testing facilities, as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore have different objectives per se than a company: We have to bring a promising idea to the market as quickly as possible to show a profit. A research institute does not have this pressure.

Which goal do you pursue with the website https://www.sanitized.house for example?
Yes, it may seem unusual when SANITIZED as a B2B company designs a platform for end customers. But more than 400 brands use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. So, we are connected to the end customer in this way.
In the virtual house - Sanitized® the house -, visitors can playfully experience in which areas of life hygiene and material protection contribute to the quality of life. A click in the wardrobe links to products - including brand names - that have been equipped with Sanitized®: clothing in the wardrobe, the carpet in the living room or the towel in the bathroom. The best thing to do is try it yourself.

The company is working consistently on implementing Sanitized® as a brand. The hygiene function for textiles and plastics shall be documented and thus offer added value to customers and consumers. Co-branding is not always welcome, especially in the clothing, sports and outdoor sector. How rocky was the road until Sanitized® was advertised as an ingredient brand by 400 license partners on the product?
Of course, there are brands that do not want a second brand on their end product. But a trend is causing more and more manufacturers to rethink: Customers are increasingly asking questions about ingredients and their origins. Elucidation and transparency are growing needs. And that's exactly what we contribute to. In addition, this is an opportunity for a textile brand to stand out positively in the flood of suppliers. Differentiation through added value - donated by Swiss technology from SANITIZED. Those arguments work worldwide.

You have a diversified network. Just to mention to two of them - you have been a system partner since the foundation of bluesign® and you work closely with Archroma in sales matters. In which aspects do you see the special value of partnerships? Are there segments existing where you can imagine new partners and collaborations?
Partnerships are important and work if all pursue common goals and can mutually fertilize each other. For example, the partnership with the company Consolidates Pathway in the United States is brand new one.

For which socially relevant topics do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action in the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?
Nobody can predict what the corona pandemic will change in the long term. Environmental protection and thus the conservation of our resources is and remains an important issue.
The fact that the textile industry can make a big contribution to this is slowly gaining awareness among the masses. Keywords are cheap production or water consumption for jeans production. People are becoming more sensitive to what companies and brands are doing. It will be all the more important to act and communicate openly and transparently.
For SANITIZED, it is a mission and a matter of course that only products with official approvals are used and that we work ac-cording to the bluesign principle. This is where traceability and transparency begin.


This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Foto: Pixabay
07.04.2020

Natural textile sector responds to Corona with creativity and cooperation

While you can read everywhere that the fashion industry is on the verge of collapse and is demanding funding from the government, many textile and leather companies with an ethical background are actively and jointly working on creative solutions so to avoid closing.
It is now becoming clear that smaller sustainability pioneers have some advantages over the retail giants and big brands. Flexibility, a strong connection between suppliers and customers and credibility are now paying off.

While you can read everywhere that the fashion industry is on the verge of collapse and is demanding funding from the government, many textile and leather companies with an ethical background are actively and jointly working on creative solutions so to avoid closing.
It is now becoming clear that smaller sustainability pioneers have some advantages over the retail giants and big brands. Flexibility, a strong connection between suppliers and customers and credibility are now paying off.

Mobility is trump card
The precarious economic situation in the stationary retail sector forces companies to take new and creative paths. Close and emphatic customer loyalty and the flexibility of smaller shopkeepers pave the way. And the ideas and measures are manifold. Some redirect their goods to online trading, offer a delivery service.  Life videos from the shops, which present and explain the goods, or participation campaigns for consumers are further examples. Manufacturers and brands are also rethinking. For example, some companies are producing face masks to cushion the decline in sales somewhat, while others are shifting the short-term production focus to basic products that are easy to market online.
 
Supply chain safety
The leather and textile industry are currently not only facing the problem of falling sales. The fragile global markets, which supply raw materials and services for large corporations, are currently becoming a threat. If the economies in China and Bangladesh come to a standstill, the German fashion market will no longer be able to obtain sufficient goods in the short term. Companies that produce in Germany or in other economically stable countries are now at an advantage.  Some of the companies that purchase raw materials from abroad are already ordering them for the next production cycle, on the one hand to give the supplier a certain amount of security, and on the other hand to be prepared for the post Corona era.

Community spirit
An ethical business practice does not only mean acting in an environmentally and socially responsible manner with regard to supply chains. Credibility, trust and empathy are just as important now if the fashion industry does not want to lose itself in price dumping and fierce competition. The press talks about billion-dollar cancellations, corona bargains and bankruptcies. Many IVN members show that there is another way. Suppliers tell us that they are holding back orders until the end of April in order to give the trade some financial leeway. Retailers usually at least consult with their suppliers if they are unable to call up a complete order. Retailers with online shops spontaneously take in goods from friendly brands, even if the products do not fit into the company's own portfolio. Brands advertise their customers' sales channels in social media, orders are bundled. People talk to each other - the customer with the supplier, but also competitors with competitors.

Slow fashion
Conventional fashion is subject to extremely fast cycles - "fast fashion" is the keyword. To a lesser extent, the fashion industry at least follows the seasonal seasons. Currently, the spring collection is hanging in the shops and cannot be sold in June. This is no different for sustainable fashion. However, the fashion trends are less pronounced, so that the current merchandise can still be worn next spring. The sustainable consumer attaches somewhat less importance to the fashion aspect and green fashion is fashionable but also tends to be more timeless than conventional fashion.

The mood
Naturally, companies from the natural fashion scene are now also forced to reduce their operating costs if they want to survive. This means short-time work, and if the situation continues for a longer period of time, this will certainly include layoffs. And of course, all niche market players are also deeply concerned. But whoever we have spoken to so far, we hear stories of opportunity, gratitude and activity.
Some see an opportunity in involuntary pauses - for example, this forced pause is certainly beneficial to climate protection. There is a very real chance also, that the fashion cycle can now be shifted back a month and thus be brought back into line with the real situation.

Many IVN members are grateful, for example, that they are based in Germany. The health care system is at least still stable at present and the black zero enables our government to set up a rescue fund. Many are also grateful for the solidarity and trust that is shown to them. From the end consumer to the business partner to the landlord, who would rather reduce or suspend a rent claim than lose a long-term tenant.
The mood is battered, but not yet in the basement. It is to be hoped that everyone will soon be able to resume their economic activities in the normal framework and that the privileges and advantages enjoyed by the sustainable fashion industry will be sufficient to ensure that everyone comes through this crisis as unscathed as possible.

 

Source:

Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft e.V.

The new AddiTex compound comes out of the extruder as a filament for 3D printing. © Fraunhofer UMSICHT
12.11.2019

FRAUNHOFER UMSICHT: COMPOUNDS FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, GEOTEXTILES AND WEARABLES

Whether biodegradable geotextiles, wearables from thermoplastic elastomers or functional textiles from 3D printers - the scope of plastics developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT is wide.

Insights into these projects were provided from October 16th - 23rd  in Düsseldorf: At the K, scientists presented their work on thermally and electrically conductive, biodegradable, bio-based compounds as well as compounds suitable for additive production.
 
Textile composites from the 3D printer
In the "AddiTex" project, plastics were developed that are applied to textiles in layers using 3D printing and give them functional properties. A special challenge in the development was the permanent adhesion: The printed plastic had to be both a strong bond with the textile and sufficiently flexible to be able to participate in movements and twists.

Whether biodegradable geotextiles, wearables from thermoplastic elastomers or functional textiles from 3D printers - the scope of plastics developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT is wide.

Insights into these projects were provided from October 16th - 23rd  in Düsseldorf: At the K, scientists presented their work on thermally and electrically conductive, biodegradable, bio-based compounds as well as compounds suitable for additive production.
 
Textile composites from the 3D printer
In the "AddiTex" project, plastics were developed that are applied to textiles in layers using 3D printing and give them functional properties. A special challenge in the development was the permanent adhesion: The printed plastic had to be both a strong bond with the textile and sufficiently flexible to be able to participate in movements and twists.

A flexible and flame-retardant compound was developed, which is particularly suitable for use in the field of textile sun and sound insulation, as well as a rigid compound, which is used, among other things, for reinforcing the shape of protective and functional clothing.

Geotextile filter for technical-biological bank protection
Geotextile filters for technical-biological bank protection are the focus of the "Bioshoreline" project. It stands for gradually biodegradable nonwovens, which allow a near-natural bank design of inland waterways with plants. They consist of renewable raw materials and are intended to stabilize the soil in the shore area until the plant roots have grown sufficiently and take over both filter and retention functions. The ageing and biodegradation of the fleeces begin immediately after installation, until the fleeces are gradually completely degraded.

Prototypes of the geotextile filters are currently being tested. Female scientists evaluate the plant mass formed above and below ground with and without geotextile filters as well as the influence of the soil type on plant growth and the biological degradation of the filter.

Wearables made of thermoplastic elastomers
In addition, Fraunhofer UMSICHT is developing novel, electrically conductive and flexible compounds that can be processed into thermoplastic-based bipolar plates. These plastics are highly electrically conductive, flexible, mechanically stable, gas-tight and chemically resistant and - depending on the degree of filling of electrically conductive additives - can be used in many different ways. For example, in electrochemical storage tanks (batteries), in energy converters (fuel cells), in chemical-resistant heat exchangers or as resistance heating elements.

Another possible field of application for these plastics: Wearables. These portable materials can be produced easily and cheaply with the new compounds. It is conceivable, for example, to form garments such as a vest by means of resistance heating elements. The idea behind this is called Power-to-Heat and enables the direct conversion of energy into heat.

FUNDING NOTES

"AddiTex" is funded with a grant from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia using funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020 "Investments in growth and employment". Project Management Agency: LeitmarktAgentur.NRW – Projektmanagement Jülich.

The "Bioshoreline" project (funding reference: 22000815) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

More information:
Fraunhofer-Institute UMSICHT K 2019
Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Textildruckerei Mayer: Innovation management in Swabian © Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH
03.09.2019

CEO Michael Steidle (Textildruckerei Mayer): Innovation Management in Swabian

  • “Keep it up! is not an option"

The textile printing company Mayer is a family business on the Swabian Alb. As a leader in textile printing, in screen, rouleaux, rotary, sublimation and flock printing and as well as in 3D coating, the enterprise is increasingly applying its leading expertise to the field of technical textiles. An in-house quality management system ensures the traceability of all production processes, an environmental portfolio the efficient use of energy, sustainability and resources. Textination talked to Managing Director Michael Steidle.

  • “Keep it up! is not an option"

The textile printing company Mayer is a family business on the Swabian Alb. As a leader in textile printing, in screen, rouleaux, rotary, sublimation and flock printing and as well as in 3D coating, the enterprise is increasingly applying its leading expertise to the field of technical textiles. An in-house quality management system ensures the traceability of all production processes, an environmental portfolio the efficient use of energy, sustainability and resources. Textination talked to Managing Director Michael Steidle.

Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH is a family business that has been active in textile printing and finishing for 45 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company, what makes you unique?
Over the past ten years or so, our family-owned company based in rural Baden-Wurttemberg has changed from a classic textile printing company into a system supplier. A central precondition for this is our knowledge of our own strengths. We rely on proven printing solutions. We do not rush into exchanging them with the latest trend. Instead, we examine whether another, innovative application can be found for them. Or whether one it is possible to combine the tried and tested with a new approach. For example, we were able to solve electronic requirements by printing technology. This area is our second focus. I am a Master of electronic engineering and completed my apprenticeship at Bizerba, a worldwide leading specialist in industrial weighing and labeling technologies. My wife brought me to the textile industry.

In which product area do market and customers challenge you in particular? And on which socially relevant areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation in the upcoming 10 years? What is your assessment that textile finishing will be able to offer solutions?
Mobility is an issue that will be of great concern to all of us in the coming years. In this area trump is what brings little weight, can be produced in a resource-saving way and is easy to shape. All these requirements are met by textile carrier materials and composites. However, textiles as a pure material are still not well-known in public and in our target industries. This understanding should be promoted.

Were fashion and clothing yesterday and do hybrid product developments like your ceramic-coated high-tech fabrics represent the future? When would the company name have to be adjusted, and how long will you keep your broad range of products and services?
In any case, it is true that the textile market, especially the clothing sector, is becoming smaller and smaller in Germany, while the market for technical textile solutions is growing. Of course, this also has an impact on our business and our priorities. Textiles are now found in so many products - we would never have dreamed about before!

As far as the company name is concerned, we have discussed it extensively. We decided to keep it because it is still right. The textiles we talk about are mostly a functional material, but they still remain textiles. And the technology with which we manufacture our high-tech coatings continues to be the printing technology ...

"Without innovation no future" - In five years time, you celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, with which fundamental corporate decisions will you then have secured the future of your customers and employees?
You already mentioned the landmark decision: "Innovation, innovation, innovation." We can secure our future through innovation only. This means that we must constantly question ourselves and be prepared to be widely interested in attending trade fairs and exhibitions and find out what people are looking for.

Innovation manager or tinkering: What does it mean for a medium-sized family business high up on the Swabian Alb having to profile on specialties in the niche? What advantages do you see compared to large companies?
The Swabian Alb is a traditional textile region. In 1980, about 30,000 people worked here in the textile industry. In 2005 it was barely a sixth. There is not much else left to do than to look for profitable niches and to show a clear profile. Perhaps the special thing about it is that we are not alone in this. Basically, all successful textile companies in our region have undergone a similar process.

As a small - and owner-managed - company, we have the shortest and fastest decision-making channels. That makes us more flexible than a big company. A budget is not questioned five times, but it is decided. If we make a trial, we can evaluate it in the evening and react the very next day. If something doesn't work, we don't need a meeting – then that's it.

At the same time, we do not automatically have a budget for research and development. We first have to carve this out elsewhere. And we do so in the knowledge that it can also be for the trash can. Within the framework of this budget, entrepreneurs have the greatest possible freedom.

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. Which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made in retrospect? What makes you proud?
That's easy (Michael Steidle laughs)! We have realized a company’s request that has driven us for months, which in the end has also awakened personal ambition. That was the introduction to these technical coatings, the key and door opener for technical textiles in general. In doing so, I revived old resources, almost by chance. Meaning: my knowledge in electronics. That's when I realized that with a textile you can do completely different things. When you see the finished product on sale after two or three years, it makes the whole team proud!

Every man for himself, God for us all: With which sectors in the textile industry and from neighboring sectors do you want to get closer cooperation beyond competitive borders? For which higher-level problems do you consider this to be indispensable?
Actually, it is not so much a matter of competitive boundaries - cooperation with innovative competitors would always be good for the end product, but that is the case in every industry!

For us, cooperation with other companies in the textile chain is important, i.e. the upstream company. Let’s assume that I am looking for a special fabric for my coating, which in turn has to be made from a special yarn. Then I am already dependent on two companies. Fortunately, we have innovative companies right on our doorstep. But sometimes we have to go further to find the right partner. Characteristics such as willingness to take risks, a common entrepreneurial interest and a passion for the final product are enormously important in a successful cooperation.

Together with your customers, universities, specialist institutes and research institutes, porject-related you work on market-ready solutions. Do you think Germany is a good breeding ground for innovative entrepreneurs? What should happen to stay successful in international competition?
The cooperation with the institutes makes perfect sense; after all, it is their task to carry out research for companies that cannot shoulder such assignments on their own. This includes testing facilities as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore per se have a different objective than a company: We need to bring a promising idea to market as soon as possible so that it generates a return. A research institute does not have this pressure.

And Germany as a location? Germany is a brilliant location! But we have an infrastructure bottleneck: I mean roads and internet connections as well as access to funding or venture capital. That does not exist in Germany in the true sense anyway. Finding investors for an idea is therefore extremely difficult.

Let me give you an example: Over the years, I have received around 14,000 euros in subsidies for a coating innovation. An American entrepreneur had a very similar idea. He was able to raise about $ 35 million within three years through venture capital, crowd funding, and grants. In the end, he did not even know what he should spend the whole money on!

In addition, for us as a company in Germany, the large, open economic area of Europe is important!

You are the first textile printing company to be certified for screen printing as well as for rotary and rouleaux printing according to the GOTS standard. How important do you consider such certification as a unique selling point in the competition?
Such certifications are important because we work with clients in the upper and premium segments. Especially in times in which - undoubtedly justified - ever greater demands are placed on sustainable business and also the external presentation receives a steadily growing attention, we can support our clients this way. We therefore offer different printing methods, all of which are certified. One thing we have to be aware of is, that if we - and all the other members of the textile chain – charge the additional costs, the price mark-up would be so enormous that nobody would accept it anymore.

How do you feel about the willingness to perform of the succeeding generation? And who would you recommend to join the textile industry and to whom would you dissuade from it?
We work a lot with students and interns. Every year we give two students the opportunity to work and research in our company for their master's thesis. With these young talents, we often experience great commitment and the ambition to bring their own project to a meaningful completion. At the same time, it is difficult for us to fill our apprenticeships; the idea of working eight hours daily, five days a week seems daunting.

And who would I recommend to join the textile industry? For decades, we vehemently discouraged our offspring from working in the textile industry, because one said it has no future ... As a true high-tech industry, it is interesting for engineers, process engineers, chemists or electronic engenieers. Very important: for people with visions! If you are looking for the classic textile industry you have to be prepared to work worldwide and you will not be unemployed. Many companies are desperately looking for plant managers or managing directors for their non-European branches.

 

30.01.2018

TEXTILE AND CLOTHING MANUFACTURERS INVEST IN EGYPT

  • Chinese companies are planning several major projects
  • Germany is supplying more textile and clothing machinery

Several Egyptian and Chinese companies have announced some heavy manufacturing investments in textiles and clothing. The government is committed to creating new production priorities for textiles and wants to increase added value. Labor-intensive industries benefit from the low value of the Egyptian pound for their exports. For textile and clothing machinery, Germany achieved a delivery share of around 20 percent in 2016. In the Egyptian textile and clothing industry, the signs point to expansion and modernization. Local media reported on a series of investment plans by Chinese and Egyptian companies. According to the newspaper Al Gomhouria, a Chinese producer is planning the world's largest textile factory for USD 6 billion in the economic zone on the Suez Canal.

  • Chinese companies are planning several major projects
  • Germany is supplying more textile and clothing machinery

Several Egyptian and Chinese companies have announced some heavy manufacturing investments in textiles and clothing. The government is committed to creating new production priorities for textiles and wants to increase added value. Labor-intensive industries benefit from the low value of the Egyptian pound for their exports. For textile and clothing machinery, Germany achieved a delivery share of around 20 percent in 2016. In the Egyptian textile and clothing industry, the signs point to expansion and modernization. Local media reported on a series of investment plans by Chinese and Egyptian companies. According to the newspaper Al Gomhouria, a Chinese producer is planning the world's largest textile factory for USD 6 billion in the economic zone on the Suez Canal. The Chinese companies TIDA and Shoon Dong Roy want to build a clothing factory for USD 800 million. Sino-Egypt Minkai plans to build a textile industry complex for around USD 750 million. The local paper and stationery manufacturer Mintra plans to start the production of sports shoes with an initial investment of USD 50 million. Manufacturing in the 10th of Ramadan City is scheduled to begin in mid-2018, serving both the domestic and overseas markets. Egypt is still importing about 85 percent of the shoes sold in the country.
Oriental Weavers plans to purchase new production lines, machinery and equipment in 2018. For this purpose, EUR 6 million are to be invested. According to the newspaper Al Shorouk, the expansion will be financed by a bank loan.

State relies on new textile cities and more value added
The Egyptian state also wants to strengthen textile and clothing production. The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, the Supreme Council for Textile Industries and an unnamed Chinese partner want to set up a free zone for textile production in Minya. The ministry plans to provide part of the funding through international institutions and create specialized training programs for workers. According to media reports, the project value should be at USD 324 million.

In early 2017 the Egyptian Ministry of Industry announced that it would set up new textile production centers at a total of ten locations. In particular, spinning mills and weaving mills are in the spotlight. This perspective is shared by the Ministry of the Public Sector. It is aimed primarily at increasing value adding and therefore carried out a study in 2017.

Import demand for textile and clothing machinery is expected to increase
Egyptian textile and clothing companies often produce with a lot of manual work and partly outdated machines. On the one hand, the government is keen to ensure that as many jobs as possible are created for the approximately 800,000 young people who enter the market each year. On the other hand, a more automated and modern production of textiles and clothing would enable more complex products. These could be sold at a higher profit, but may also require less human labor.

An Indian company has secured a contract to modernize cotton processing. In compliance with a framework agreement with the Cotton and Textile Industries Holding, Bajaj Clothing automates cotton ginning systems. A total of eleven companies in different parts of the country will be equipped with the new machinery until August 2018. In late December 2017, Egypt Today announced that the government wants to modernize the spinning and weaving mills in Northern Egypt. The investment volume will amount to a total of one billion Euro over a period of five years.

The newly announced projects are expected to increase the demand of import machinery in the near future. Like other types of equipment, the vast majority of textile and clothing machinery will be imported into Egypt. Deliveries from Germany were able to improve both in absolute terms and relatively in 2016, despite an overall shrinking of the volume of imports. The German supply share jumped from 15.8 to 20.4 percent compared to 2015.

Import of textile and clothing machinery into Egypt (in USD  1,000)
HS Category 2015 thereof from Germany 2016 thereof from Germany
8444 1,135 0 4,481 2,025
8445 34,550 10,653 26,105 5,429
8446 18,902 984 23,591 13,346
8447 26,040 5,940 15,713 3,052
8448 23,39 5,158 20,574 3,365
8449 440 0 299 0
8451 34,796 3,335 36,512 2,334
8452 30,456 1,264 23,186 1,698
8453 3,087 5 3,678 137
Summe 173,145 27,339 154,139 31,386

Source: UN Comtrade

The consequences of the release of the Egyptian pound in November 2016 will mainly benefit labor-intensive industries and those that are processing mainly local raw materials. After October 2016, the value of the EURO soared from just under 9 to 21 Egyptian pounds and has stabilized at this level. According to various figures the textile and clothing companies in the country employs between 1.0 and 1.2 million workers. It is reported that state-owned enterprises are strongly represented in the textile sector, while the private sector plays a greater role in the clothing sector.

The advantage is dampened by the import requirements for cotton. In Egypt, especially soft and high-quality long-staple cotton is grown and exported. By contrast, domestic textile and clothing companies mainly use short-staple cotton from abroad as a raw material. Their import as become more expensive due to the currency developments. Nevertheless the competitiveness of Egypt's textile and clothing exporters has improved as a result of the new foreign exchange situation. Their exports should have developed better in 2017 than at the peak of the currency liquidity crisis in the previous year. At that time, exports fell by12.6 percent to around USD 1.7 billion.

Egyptian exports of textiles and clothing
(Selection, in USD millions, Change in %)
HS Category 2015 2016 Change 2016/2015
57 339.8 303.5 -10.7
60 2.0 35.7 1,685.0
61 483.6 388.0 -19.9
62 870.4 756.6 -13.1
63 262.2 227.2 -13.3
Summe 1,958.0 1,711.0 -12.6

Source: UN Comtrade

Increasing labor costs at Asian production sites, long transport routes and sometimes dissatisfaction with the product quality make some customers look for new sources of supply for textile and clothing products. According to a report by the news portal Middle East Eye, Egypt lies at least with USD 100 as a monthly salary for workers roughly equivalent on a level with India or Bangladesh and about half of Chinese salaries. In addition, the country at the Suez Canal is capable of fast deliveries to Europe and the United States. Regional competitors include Turkey and Tunisia. Egyptian manufacturers are not always recognizable as such, as they often manufacture for major international brands. Middle East Eye names Calvin Klein, Decathlon, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara as examples. In November 2017, Dice Sport and Casual Wear agreed to supply Levi Strauss & Co. with children's clothing.

Since 2017, Egypt became part of the Better Work Program of the International Labor Organization. The program includes 30 apparel factories in which the working conditions should be improved. Such confirmations could then give Egyptian products competitive advantages in export. However, to stand up to the tough international price warfare and at the same time to meet by the customers expected production standards will be a challenge.

19.09.2017

RUSSIA'S APPAREL AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY IS BOOMING

  • Domestic production is attractively priced
  • Foreign brands shift production tu Russia

Moscow (GTAI) - The Russian market for clothing and tex-tiles has recovered from the crisis. The Fashion Consulting Group expects a sales increase of up to 5 percent for 2017 and 2018. The production of clothing and textiles is also on the rise in the first half of 2017 by more than 6 percent. Low unit costs make sewing and weaving in Russia attractive and attract foreign brand manufacturers.

  • Domestic production is attractively priced
  • Foreign brands shift production tu Russia

Moscow (GTAI) - The Russian market for clothing and tex-tiles has recovered from the crisis. The Fashion Consulting Group expects a sales increase of up to 5 percent for 2017 and 2018. The production of clothing and textiles is also on the rise in the first half of 2017 by more than 6 percent. Low unit costs make sewing and weaving in Russia attractive and attract foreign brand manufacturers.

The Russian clothing and textile industry is again on a growth path. The market research agency Fashion Consulting Group expects a sales increase of up to 5 percent to Ruble 2,41 billion, (EUR 37.35 billion, exchange rate January 1st to August 31st 2017: 1 EUR = 64.518 rubles) for 2017 compared to the previous year. However, the business development in the first half of 2017 re-mained below expectations as the spring was short and the summer unusually cold. The most likely expectation therefore is a market growth of 2 to 3 percent.

However, with the crisis based Ruble devaluation the signs have changed. Imports become more expensive and domestic production becomes profitable. The unit labor costs in the Russian cloth-ing and textile industries have now become more competitive with those in China. This creates sales opportunities for manufacturers of automated production machinery and sewing machines.

Foreign garment manufacturers move production to Russia
First companies are already considering moving their production to Russia. For example the company Modny Continent, which is known for the brand In-City and is currently producing in China. Other wellknown
Russian labels like Sportmaster and Acoola, as well as foreign fashion brands such as Zara, Nike, Finnflare, Uniqlo and Decathlon are planning to launch their own productions in Russia. Some Russian companies are sewing under a foreign brand name and hide their origin.

Already one step further is Adventum Technologies. The to the Textime (Tekstajm) Group belonging company opened a new plant for the production of special clothing in the area of Tula for Rubles 650 million in March 2017. In Roslawl in the Smolensk region, the Roztech company is installing a plant for the manufacture of Dikaja Orchideja underwear for Rubles 100 million. PrimeTec (Prajmtek) has started the production of terry cloth in the area of Ivanovo for Rubles 670 million.

Current projects in the clothing and textile industry in Russia
Project Investition
(Mio. Euro)
City / Region Completion Company
Construction of a high-tech center 312.5
(1st phase)
Rostow 2019
(1. Phase)
Gloria Jeans, http://www.gloria-jeans.ru
Construction of new facilities for the production of textiles 17.9 Iwanowo 2020 Faberlic, http://www.faberlic.ru
Construction of a textile factory for the segment HoReCa 17.1 Rostow n.a. Rapira, ooorapira.ru
Construction of new facilities for manufacturing of high tech fabrics 8.5 Perm 2018 Tschajkowski Textile, http://www.textile.ru
Construction of production facilities terry goods  7.8 Gebiet Kaliningrad n.a. Rapira, ooorapira.ru
Construction of a factory for the production of technical textiles 5.9 Pskow 2018 Strimteks, http://www.strimteks.ru
Construction of facilities for medical materials  5.7 Iwanowo 2020 Navteks, http://navteks.narod.ru
Construction of facilities for the production of speciality clothing 4.6 Perm n.a. Tschajkowski Textile, http://www.textile.ru
Facilities for the production of linen yarn  1.7 Rschew, Gebiet Twer n.a. Rshewskaja Lnotschesal-naja Fabrika, http://izolnarzhev.ru/new/

Source: Research of Germany Trade and Invest

Government pushes import substitution
The Ministry of Industry promotes domestic manufacturers of clothing and textiles with Rubles 145 billion as part of the strategy for the development of the light industry by 2025 and the anticreep plan. By the year 2020 the market share of Russian textiles should rise to 50 percent and 300,000 new jobs should be created. This will make Russia more independent from clothing and textile imports.

The government specifically supports individual textile segments. With regulation no 857 of August 27th 2016, it promotes the production of school uniforms in Russia. Also for research and development in the textile industry funding will be provided: for 2017 Rubles 3 billion are available, 2.2 billion from the anti-crisis plan.

However, the somewhat stabilizing Ruble threatens to cross the plan of the government, it cheapens the imports. In the first quarter of 2017 imports of textiles and footwear increased by 22.7 percent.

Textile and clothing production in Russia
Description of goods 2014 2015 2016 Veränderung 2017/2016 *) (in %)
Cotton fiber (mio. bales) 106.0 111.0 129.0 8.9
Chemical fiber (1.000 t) 128.0 136.0 152.0 10.3
Synthetic fiber (1.000 t) 20.3 15.1 21.2 -12.0
Fabrics (mio. sqm) 3,907.0 4,542 5,409 11.8
.therof from:        
.Cotton 1,187.0 1,176.0 1,162.0 0.4
.Natural silk (1.000 sqm) 192.0 253.0 157.0 8.9
.Wool (1.000 qm) 11.5 9.3 10.5 18.7
.Linen 31.4 25.9 25.5 10.7
.Synthetic fiber 204.0 237.0

282.0

22.9
.Nonwoven fabrics (except wadding) 2,461.0 3,084.0 3,904.0 15.4
Bedlinen (mio sets) 64.4 59.8 58.6 0.9
Carpets (mio. sqm) 17.1 22.6 22.4 -14.8
Knitwear (1.000 t) 7.6 14.2 k.A. 25.5
Stockings and socks (mio. pair) 207.0 199.0 213.0 -7.6
Coats (1.000 pc.) 1,239.0 989.0 1,200.0 -8.8
Men’s suits (mio. pc.) 5.4 4.7 4.0 -4.0
Work wear & uniforms for men (mio.pc.) 22.8 20.7 22.0 28.9

*) First half year 2017 compared to the same period of last year
Source: Federal Statistical Office Rosstat

Weak ruble makes manufacturing in Russia attractive
The ruble devaluation benefits the labor-intensive textile industry. Many Russian fashion brands, who have placed orders to foreign sewing companies, are trying to redirect them to Russia. The factories in the textile clusters of the areas Ivanovo, Leningrad, Tula, Tver, Vladimir, Perm and Vologda are ready for new settlements. Ac-cording to plans by the regional government, textile production should also be set up in Tatarstan. The proximity to polymer producers in the region should ensure the supply of chemical fibers for the manufacturing of work wear and uniforms.

Without an own production of wool, silk, flax and synthetic fibers the Russian textile industry can-not get on its feet. However - to date, not all textiles and basic materials can be obtained from domestic sources. This is why very fine fabrics come e.g. from Europe. Local producers are to re-place imports especially in polyviscose, worsted, polyamide and polyester.

In order to reduce the import dependency of polyester, a new combine for the production of poly-ester fibers is being developed in Witschuga in the Ivanovo region. ThyssenKrupp, Uhde-Inventa Fischer, Oerlikon Neumag and Czech Unistav Construction are building the new Ivanovsky Poly-efirni complex, which is scheduled to commence production in 2020.

Foreign textile imports could be replaced much faster by Russian goods and the growth rates would be much higher if the banks would provide affordable loans to local textile manufacturers to buy new equipments. But this does not happen according to the president of the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs of the Textile and Light Industry Andrej Razbrodin.

Investors are faced with various challenges in setting up textile productions in Russia: the produc-tion plants are mostly outdated, skilled workers are a shortage as well as sales partners. Only if the Russian government's development program for the garment and textile industry will be suc-cessfully implemented, these problems could be overcome.

More information:
Russia
Source:

Hans-Jürgen Wittmann, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

CZECH TEXTILE INDUSTRY CONTINUES ITS UPSWING © tokamuwi / pixelio.de
22.08.2017

CZECH TEXTILE INDUSTRY CONTINUES ITS UPSWING

  • Sales are increasing since four years
  • Developing of up new markets abroad

Prague (GTAI) - Czech textile and clothing manufacturers are among the winners of the good economic situation. The trend towards domestic products and the rising purchasing power are inspiring the companies. At the same time they benefit from a growing demand from abroad. According to the association ATOK the turnover of the sector rose to Kc 53,5 billion (just under EUR 2 billion) in 2016. It was the fourth year of growth in a row.

  • Sales are increasing since four years
  • Developing of up new markets abroad

Prague (GTAI) - Czech textile and clothing manufacturers are among the winners of the good economic situation. The trend towards domestic products and the rising purchasing power are inspiring the companies. At the same time they benefit from a growing demand from abroad. According to the association ATOK the turnover of the sector rose to Kc 53,5 billion (just under EUR 2 billion) in 2016. It was the fourth year of growth in a row.

An important growth driver of the Czech textile industry is the automotive sector. The largest sales are achieved with technical textiles, and these are mostly used in the over 1.3 million passenger cars, which are rolling in the Czech Republic off the assembly lines every year. The German automotive supplier Borgers is therefore the second largest textile manufacturer in the country. The company produces textile trims for trunks, passenger compartments or underfloor at four locations in the Plzen region. About 200,000 parts leave the factory every day for VW, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Bentley and Rolls Royce. The largest textile company in 2016 was the company Juta with productions of geotextiles, insulation materials and packaging material.

The positive dynamism of textile manufacturers is continuing in 2017. According to statistics from January to May the production index rose by 3% and the value of new orders even rose by 5%. On the other hand the garment manufacturers have to announce sales reductions following the strong year before. Future growth could be curbed by rising wages, the appreciation of the national currency and a lack of staff.

Sales development of the Czech textile and clothing industry
Year Sales in Mrd. Kc .thereof textiles in Kc bn. .thereof Clothing in Kc bn. Change total sales in comparison to  previous year  in %
2013 47.1 40.7 6.4 2.6
2014 51.0 44.6 6.4 8.3
2015 52.4 45.4 7.0 2.7
2016 53.5 46.2 7.3 2.1

Sources: Association of the Textile, Garment and Leather Industry (ATOK), Calculations by Germany Trade & Invest

Even more dynamically than the sector's profits the foreign trade has developed in 2016. Since the Czech Republic is being used as a transit and logistics location by international trading companies, the volume of exports is significantly higher than the total turnover of the domestic manufacturers. According to the ATOK association, in 2016 textiles were exported for Kc 63.8 billion (EUR 2.36 billion) and clothing for Kc 47.2 billion (EUR 1.74 billion). This was an increase of 5% for textiles and 31% for clothing. Import of textiles rose by 6% to Ks 59.3 billion (EUR 2.19 billion), import of garment rose by 20% to Kc 67.9 billion (EUR 2.51 billion).

This has somewhat reduced the trade deficit in clothing. In the major fashion chains however foreign goods still dominate. Czech vendors have little chance of coming to the shelves and taking part in the fast fashion cycles and fast fashion changes. The association ATOK estimates that they have a market share of a maximum of 20% in clothing retailing. As a result, domestic manufacturers are increasingly focusing on direct selling, either via internet shops or through their own sales outlets. They also strengthen the building of their own brands, after having carried out commission work for international fashion groups for many years. Customized products are in the trend also. Some companies that have hitherto mainly served the home market are now looking increasingly at foreign markets. The swimwear and underwear producer Timo from Litomerice, for example, wants to supply to Germany also in the future, reported by the economic newspaper Hospodarske noviny.

Textile companies invest more and more abroad
The East Bohemian specialist for bathroom textiles, Grund, already has a sales company in Lower Saxony. The carpet manufacturer is now planning to build a factory in the south of the USA and intends to invest more than USD 1 million. Silon from South Bohemia, which is one of the largest manufacturers of polyester fibers in Europe, is building a manufacturing plant for plastic compounding in the USA in order to reduce the delivery time for raw materials and to be closer to the customer. There are interesting developments in the research area. The institute VUTS from Liberec, has developed, together with Taiwanese scientists, a pneumatic loom that can produce 3D fabrics made of high-strength polyester silk. The material can be used for boat building or flood protection. The machine should be presented for the first time at a trade fair in 2019. Until then the textile manufacturer Veba from Broumov wants to have developed a new 3D fabric. It is intended to reinforce matrices.

After the extra economy in 2015 due to the last-time levy of EU funds from the old funding period, investments in the textile industry had shrunk in 2016. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs the manufacturers invested some Kc 2.78 billion (around EUR 100 million), a sixth less than in the previous year. On the other hand, investments in the garment sector were up by a quarter to over Kc 850 million (around EUR 31 million). The development was also reflected in the import figures for textile machines. At the beginning of the year 2017 imports rose again in some product groups, thus opening up sales opportunities for finishing manufacturers. German suppliers account for roughly half of the machinery supply for the textile industry.

In April 2017 the Moravian nonwoven fabric manufacturer Retex had issued a tender for a production plant for over EUR 7 million. In Zatec near Usti nad Labem Unifrax wants to build a production plant for silicate fabrics. Juta is currently investing around EUR 13 million in the production of grids and plans to get the plant expansion at Dvur Kralove into operation in autumn 2017. The Japanese Toray Textiles is expanding its factory for airbag fabrics and printing plates in Prostejov over the next four years. The North Moravian supplier of outdoor clothing, Tilak, is also expanding its production facilities in Sumperk.

Import of selected textile machines to the Czech Republic (EUR 1,000)
Maschinengruppe / HS-Position 2015 2016 January to May 2017 Change*)
Jet-spinning machines / 8444 15,369 5,502 842 -81.2
.thereof from Germany 9,829 4,509 20 -99.5
Spinning machines / 8445 8,838 15,858 1,922 -51.1
.thereof from Germany 5,017 6,743 164 -91.1
Weaving looms/ 8446 12,860 4,277 1,882 -17.5
.thereof from Germany 2,247 687 36 n.a.
Knitting machines / 8447 11,965 6,737 2,672 14.7
.thereof from Germany 6,092 1,979 1,632 54.5
Auxiliary machines / 8448 73,358 88,360 42,830 27.9
.thereof from Germany 52,601 54,897 26,823 16.2
Nonwoven and felt machines 19,628 2,676 846 -45.8
.thereof from Germany 6,741 1,313 245 -79.0
Cleaning, dying and pressing machines / 8451 108,080 105,410 44,762 26.1
.thereof from Germany 50,325 47,580 17,714 1.7
Sewing machines / 8452 17,895 20,056 8,172 10.1
.thereof from Germany 6,340 6,353 2,081 -12.2
Machines for fur, leather processing or shoe production / 8453 4,386 2,626 1,056 12.9
.thereof from Germany 347 198 68 25.9
Total 272.379 251,501 104,984 14.2
.thereof from Germany 139.540 124.260 48,783 -4.0

Source: Czech Statistical Office

 

interzum2017 © Koelnmesse GmbH
02.05.2017

INTERZUM 2017: FROM UPCYCLING TO THE TINY HOUSE

  • Groundbreaking ideas

interzum is a unique platform for exciting new ideas and innovations: right on cue when the start of spring leaves its first traces in nature, the leading international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections also turned its attention to nature. From biomaterials and green innovations to upcycling, future home lifestyles were the talking point this month, with the other major theme being interzum's importance for design, interior decor and architecture.

  • Groundbreaking ideas

interzum is a unique platform for exciting new ideas and innovations: right on cue when the start of spring leaves its first traces in nature, the leading international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections also turned its attention to nature. From biomaterials and green innovations to upcycling, future home lifestyles were the talking point this month, with the other major theme being interzum's importance for design, interior decor and architecture.

"Upcycling" is one of the words to keep in the back of your head at interzum 2017. It refers to a kind of recycling where selected products are reused and, in the ideal scenario, new, high-quality materials for completely new products are produced. From paper and clothing to fabrics, almost anything that would otherwise end up in the rubbish can be reused with the right creative mindset. Upcycling isn't just fun; it helps to protect our environment. Resources circulate, and less waste is produced. What's more, we get a "new" product at a lower cost or no cost at all - a win-win situation. The special Circular Thinking event area at interzum will present ideas, products and manufacturers, and provide an overview of sustainable upcycling. It's also where visitors will find chairs made from biomaterials. Seats made from plant or vegetable waste? It may sound a little strange at first, but the idea is actually as simple as it is ingenious. After all, the raw materials are freely available in plentiful quantities and can be sustainably reused. The Zostera Stool by designer Carolin Pertsch, for example, is made from seagrass that is washed up on the coasts.

Natural materials and conscious use of resources will have an immense influence on how we live in the future, probably more so than ever before. The global population is constantly growing, and supplies of resources are dwindling. This is yet another good reason to visit the special Circular Thinking event area to find some inspiration. One organisation that has done just that is the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). Taking its inspiration from nature, the Workshop of Dreams shows just what can happen when American hardwoods are used creatively. interzum will present creative and surprising designs, including The Smile pavilion, a wooden installation.

So much sustainability and innovation should, of course, be rewarded, too. The Green Product Award is presented in 14 categories at the fair. True to its motto, "How will we live tomorrow?", it recognises exceptionally innovative and green products.

How we will live tomorrow is also a question that the Tiny House examines. Living space is becoming more and more expensive, and this is driving the search for solutions that can offer maximum comfort in a limited space. On an area of just 8 square metres that can be surveyed at a glance, the Tiny House is a home in miniature that provides everything you need for a space-saving life and more besides: the house is on wheels, so there are no limits to its mobility.

The special Mobile Spaces event area will also explore the immense impact of mobility on our lives. Cars, planes and ships mean that we are more mobile today than ever before. Designing for these mobile spaces calls for individual solutions because they have their own specific requirements. Surfaces, textiles and fittings will be presented in the event area as ideally suited examples of mobile furnishings, especially in caravans.

This year interzum will present a host of diverse ideas for designing future living spaces. This rich source of inspiration is something that many leading names value and appreciate, not least international architect Peter Ippolito. Professor Peter Zec of Red Dot is also keeping a close eye on current developments and industry trends, and spoke highly of the development of natural materials and how they can be combined with cutting-edge technology. To do justice to these innovations, the interzum award: intelligent material & design will be presented in Cologne.

And to make sure no innovations go undiscovered, Koelnmesse is committed to representing young companies at interzum. This initiative is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's (BMWi) funding programme. Eligible companies can benefit from assistance with trade fair costs and have the opportunity to present their innovations and market them.

How we will design our future living spaces is the focus of this year's interzum. The world's leading trade fair provides the ideal platform for all kinds of groundbreaking innovations and will do much more than just start a conversation about tomorrow's worlds of interior design.

Koelnmesse is the world's top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the LivingKitchen China/CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the network of the interior decorating industry, Koelnmesse offers direct access to relevant products, contacts, competence and events.

Further information: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/ and http://www.ambista.com

 

Turkish State pushes sluggish Economy © Bildpixel/ pixelio.de
06.09.2016

TURKISH STATE PUSHES SLUGGISH ECONOMY

  • Low interest rates and government subsidies should drive consumption and Investments
  • Less start-ups and fewer direct foreign investment

Istanbul (GTAI) - After the failed coup attempt of July 15th 2016 the Turkish government wants to support the economy. Financial relief, government subsidies and a low interest rate policy should aim strengthening of consumption and investment and eliminate the arisen uncertainty in the business world. At the same time the overall savings ratio should be increased and the basis for financing of major infrastructure projects be improved.

The target of the government for an economic growth of 4.5% in 2016 appears now as no longer realistic. After the impressive increase of 4.8% in Q1 2016 government representatives expect for the rest of the year lower numbers, so that for the full year 2016 a growth of around 3.0 to 3.5% could be achieved.

  • Low interest rates and government subsidies should drive consumption and Investments
  • Less start-ups and fewer direct foreign investment

Istanbul (GTAI) - After the failed coup attempt of July 15th 2016 the Turkish government wants to support the economy. Financial relief, government subsidies and a low interest rate policy should aim strengthening of consumption and investment and eliminate the arisen uncertainty in the business world. At the same time the overall savings ratio should be increased and the basis for financing of major infrastructure projects be improved.

The target of the government for an economic growth of 4.5% in 2016 appears now as no longer realistic. After the impressive increase of 4.8% in Q1 2016 government representatives expect for the rest of the year lower numbers, so that for the full year 2016 a growth of around 3.0 to 3.5% could be achieved.

But not only the failed coup attempt and subsequent the internal political turmoil are affecting the economic development. Also the in the recent months clearly increased geopolitical risks, the armed conflicts along the southeastern border with Syria and Iraq, and the threat of terrorist attacks are pressing on the business climate.

The number of start-ups is declining since April 2016th. According to the Turkish Chamber Union TOBB (Türkiye Odalar ve Borsalar Birligi) in July a provisional low point with a decline of about 34% over the same month of last year has been reached.

Establishment of new companies
Month 2015 2016

Change (%)

January 6,471 6,894 6,5
February 5,509 6,363 15,5
March 6,092 7,117 16,8
April 6,022 5,860 -2,7
May 5,635 5,422 -3,8
June 5,896 5,571 -5,5
July 4,760 4,760 -34,1
January til July 40,385 40,363 -0,1

Source: Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce TOBB (http://www.tobb.org.tr)

"Tailored" state support for Investors

Despite a rising inflation (annual increase of consumer prices in late July 2016: 8.8%) since several months the Turkish Central Bank is lowering the interest rates in small steps and ensures an increasing liquidity. For investors the government is planning generous subsidies. In the words of economy minister Nihat Zeybekci the government investment promotion is standing before fundamental changes. The plan includes "unlimited, customized and project-based" facilitations for specific sectors, which will go far beyond current incentives.

In this context Zeybekci named metallurgy, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and medical technology, in addition the renewable energy and modern agricultural technologies. In addition to extensive tax breaks the planned state aids will also include subsidizing the salaries of highly skilled employees, a free allocation of land, subsidies of taxes and energy subsidies. With this especially international investors should be won and high technology projects should become supported.

Foreign direct investments slumped in the first half year of 2016

According to the Turkish Ministry of Economy foreign direct investment declined in the 1st half of 2016 compared with the same period of last year by 55%. In 2015 a net amount of USD 16.9 billion flowed into Turkey, and in 2014 approximately USD 12.5 billion. Of these USD 5.3 billion or resp. USD 4.2 billion were invested in real estate.

Foreign direct investment in Turkey without real estate (in USD million)
Sector 1.Halfyear 2015  1.Halfyear 2016  Change (in %)
Agriculture 5   24 380
Industry 2,710 866 -68
Mining 185 17 -91
Manufacturing  1,445 607 -58
Food, Beverages, Tobacco products 257 171 -33
Textile and Clothing 399 21 -95
Leather and leather goods 2 8 300
Wood and wooden products 0 1 -
Paper and paperproducts 4 20 400
Coke and refined petroleum products 500 11 -98
Chemical and pharmaceutical 
  products
69 136 97
Coutchouk and plastic products  21 54 157
Non metal  mineral products - 23 -
Metal and metal products 36 24 -33
Machines and machinery equipment 5 20 300
Electronic and optical products 46 98 113
Automotives 90 8 -91
Furniture 16 12 -25
Electricity, Gas 1,078 242 -78
Water, wastewater, waste-disposal 2 0 -100
Services  2,066 1,274 -38
Total  4,781 2,164 -55

Source: Turkish Ministry of Economy (Ekonomi Bakanligi, http://www.ekonomi.gov.tr)

State fund to finance infrastructure projects established

Of particular importance for the future financing of large infrastructure projects, especially in the transportation sector, is the law No. 6741 of  08  /19th / 2016, establishing the Turkey-Property Fund (Türkiye Varlik fonu - Sovereign Wealth Fund). The law, which was announced in the government Gazette No. 29813 on 08 / 26th /2016 regulates the structure and operational rules of the new fund, which originally was to be filled from the state budget and privatization proceeds and should have started with an initial capital of TL 50 million. The law provides the establishment of a stock corporation that will be responsible for investments, stakes and other commitments of the fund. The financial market operations of the fund are according to paragraph 8 of the law 6741largely exempt from taxes and fees.

From the new Turkey-Fund the government expects major funding contributions for ongoing and upcoming major projects. These include the third international airport in Istanbul and the planned "Canal Istanbul", which will run parallel to the Bosporus. Expected to the ideas of the government the fund should bring an annual contribution of 1.5 percentage points to the real GDP growth over the next ten years. Economy Minister Zeybekci expects through the fund in the long term an asset control of about USD 200 billion.

Debts to the State can be paid by installments

Companies that are under financial pressure should be relieved by the law no. 6736 for the restructuring of public demands from March 8th 2016. This came in force after the publication in the government Gazette no. 29806 of August 19th 2016. With this law firms and persons, which have debts at the tax office or at social security institutions, can get the possibility to settle their outstanding claims, including failure surcharges by installments within 18 months. On claims up to TL 50 (1 Euro = 3.31 TL) the state will entirely dispense. The redemption of debt from tourism enterprises, which are due in2016, will in accordance to the law shifted by one year.

The private retirement provision for all workers should increase the savings rate 

In order to increase the country's low savings rate, the Turkish government has adopted the law no. 6740 on August 10th 201616, which gets into force on January 1st 2017 (promulgated in the government Gazette No. 29812 on August 25th 2016). With this law, changing the law no. 4632 of March 28th 2001 about the voluntary private retirement provision all workers aged less than 45 years and of Turkish nationality will in the future "automatically" be included in the system of the private pensions system. Affected employees however have the right, within two months from the inclusion date to declare their abandonment and leave the system.

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT SETS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM UNTIL 2025 FOR THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY © Jerzy Sawluk / pixelio.de
28.06.2016

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT SETS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM UNTIL 2025 FOR THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY

  • Anticrisis Plan provides grants of nearly Ruble 1.5 Billion 

Moscow (GTAI) – In spring 2016 the Russian government has decided a "Strategy for the development of the light industry until 2025" and a "Federal program to support enterprises of the light industry" (anticrisis plan). Hence the Russian textile enterprises should be supported in the crisis. It is the aim of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to double the share of domestic producers on the clothing market from currently 25% to 50% in the year 2025.

  • Anticrisis Plan provides grants of nearly Ruble 1.5 Billion 

Moscow (GTAI) – In spring 2016 the Russian government has decided a "Strategy for the development of the light industry until 2025" and a "Federal program to support enterprises of the light industry" (anticrisis plan). Hence the Russian textile enterprises should be supported in the crisis. It is the aim of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to double the share of domestic producers on the clothing market from currently 25% to 50% in the year 2025.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade 14,000 companies (including 200 large enterprises) of the Russian light industry are producing clothing, textiles, footwear and leather goods. They generate annually a turnover of Ruble 270 billion. Of that 653 large and medium and 4,000 small businesses are operating in the yarn and textile industry. Because the purchasing power and consumer demand fell, the light industry slowed its production in 2015 by 12%.

To give the clothing and textile factories more security, the Russian government adopted in spring 2016 a "Strategy for the development of the light industry until 2025" and a "Federal program to support enterprises of the light industry" (anticrisis plan). It is the aim of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to double the share of domestic producers on the clothing market from currently 25% to 50% in the year 2025.  In this context up to 330,000 additional jobs should be achieved.

Anticrisis plan provides subsidies of Ruble 1.475 billion
In the anticrisis plan Ruble 1.475 billion will be granted. This should especially support manufacturers of school uniforms, children's apparel and textile factories that work on government orders. The financial support includes: subsidies for producers of school uniforms for the lower classes made out of Russian worsted fabrics (Ruble 600 million), subsidies for working capital loans to support purchases of raw materials (Ruble 800 million), subsidies for investment loans for technical modernization of enterprises (Ruble 75 million).

As part of the development program for the light industry an own development bank for the textile and clothing industry will be set up – following the example of the Rosselkhozbank. The hitherto in agriculture specialized state leasing company Rosagroleasing should accompany the technical modernization of the textile and clothing companies. In addition, the government ordinance no. 791 prohibits, as in  
the version of February, 17th 2016 on all three government levels (federal, regional, municipal), government procurement of imported textiles and garments when there are offers from domestic Producers.

Industrial parks and clusters for the light industry are growing
In addition, two industrial parks for the clothing and textile industry will be set up in the areas of Ivanovo and St. Petersburg. In addition, a regional cluster of the light industry in the Chelyabinsk region of the South Ural is growing. The fund for the development of the Russian industry promotes investments with low interest rates on credits, for example the project of Praimteks (Primetex) in the Ivanovo region for the production of textiles using digital textile printing (credit: Rubles 466 million rubles).

Further, the domestic producers of clothing and footwear should gain access in future to the funding instruments of the federal association for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. Critics complain, that the subsidies reach mostly large companies only and above all companies working with government contracts.

Capacity building for chemical fibers 
Export opportunities are seen by the Ministry of Industry in synthetic fibers. In the textile cluster Ivanovo (http://invest-ivanovo.ru/data/prog.pdf) a chemical fiber plant is growing with public aid, scheduled to begin production from 2018. With that 250,000 t chemical fibers would additionally annually be available. Until now both manufac-turers Komitex and Wladimirski Polyefir produce together 33,000 t chemical fibers per anno. Viscose is currently not being produced at all in Russia. The import share of polyester is 74%, of polyamide 88%. 

In future the synthetic fibers may be supplied to BTK Textile and other customers. The production complex of BTK Textile in the textile City Shakhty in the Rostov region, was inaugurated in June 2015. The company manufactures high-tech textiles and knitwear made out of synthetic fibers of which work-wear, sport-wear and ski-wear are being sewn. BTK Textile has fabric production capacities of about 12 million square meters per year, General Director Sergey Bazoev says. Up to now BTK Textile has to buy the synthetic fibers and yarns predominantly in Asia. That could change soon. The BTK Group is the largest Russian manufacturer of men's clothing and uniforms.

Building new production facilities in Russia is not so easy: equipment of domestic manufacturing is not available and imported technology became very expensive due to the Ruble devaluation. So the technical facilities of BKT for manufacturing, impregnation or coating of fabrics and for apparel sewing (in total 250 units) are coming from Italy, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and France. Long-term loans of over 8 to 12 years are not available and if - only at high interest rates. The lack of a variety of technologies and materials (establishing of extensive fabric and accessories inventories is too expensive) remains the main problem for Russian textile companies. Therefore, the number of new projects in the light industry is not yet clear.
Russian Federation - production of textiles and clothing (change in %)
Description 2015 Change 2015/2014
Cotton fiber (mio. bales) 111.0 4.4
Chemical fibers (mio. bales) 66.0 -4.5
Fabrics (mio. sqm) 4,542 14.7
.thereof from: :    
.Silk (1,000 sqm) 253,0 31.8
.Wool (1,000 sqm) 9.262,0 -20.9
.Linen 25,9 -26,6
.Cotton 1.176,0 -4,5
.Chemical fibers 237,0 14,2
Fabrics made out of other materials 3.084,0 25,1
Fabrics with plastic impregnation (mio. sqm) 32,3 14,6
Bed-linen (mio. pieces) 59,8 -9,6
Carpets (mio. sqm) 22,6 -3,7
Knitwear (1,000 t) 14,2 29,8
Stockings (mio. pair) 199 -5,6
Coats (1,000 pieces) 989 -22,1
Lined jackets (1,000 pieces) 1.887 -45,4
Suits (1,000 pieces) 4.690 -12,6
Men’s jackets and blazer (1,000 pieces) 870 14,1
Women’s coats with fur collar (pieces) 5.543 -46,1
Clothing made out of artificial fur (1,000 pieces) 24,5 21,0
Uniforms and workwear (mio. pieces) 20,7 -8,2
Work- and protective clothing (mio. pieces) 99,8 14,6
Overalls (1,000 pieces) 733 -62,4

Source: Rosstat 2016

Russian Federation - production of textiles and clothing (change in %)
Description 1st Quarter 2016 Change
1st Quarter 2016 / 1st Quarter 2015
Sewing thread made out of synthetic fibers (mio. reels)   14,0 -0,6
Fabrics (mio sqm) 1,2 23,3
Bed linen (mio pieces) 14,7 -7,7
Knitted stockings (mio. pairs) 55,4 34,0
Knitwear (mio. pieces) 24,8 -6,0
Workwear, uniforms (mio. pieces) 31,1 11,2
Coats (1,000 pieces) 269 9,1

Source: Rosstat 2016


Contact addresses:
Ministry of Industry and Trade

Department of Light Industry
Denis Klimentewitsch Pak, Director of the Department
109074 Moskau, Kitajgorodskij proesd 7
Tel.: 007 495/632 8004 (Sekretariat), Fax: -632 88 65
E-Mail: dgrvt@minprom.gov.ru, Internet: http://minpromtorg.gov.ru

(Sub) department of Light Industry: Director: Irina Alekseewna Iwanowa,
Tel.: -632 87 31, -346 04 73; E-Mail: ivanovaia@minprom.gov.ru
Internet: http://minpromtorg.gov.ru/ministry/dep/#!9&click_tab_vp_ind=1
"Strategy for the development of Light Industry until 2025."
http://www.kptf.ru/images/company/Presentation.pdf (Presentation of the strategy)
http://minpromtorg.gov.ru/docs/#!strategiya_razvitiya_legkoy_promyshlennosti_rossii_na_period_do_2025_goda (Text of the strategy and action plan)

Russian Union of Entrepreneurs of Textile and Light Industry
107023 Moskau, uliza Malaja Semenowskaja 3
Tel.: 007 495/280 15 48, Fax: -280 10 85
E-Mail: info@souzlegprom.ru, Internet: http://www.souzlegprom.ru